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Event: EP Epidemic
Number: 2023-000039
Country: SSD South Sudan
Location: MALAKAL
Date (YMD): 2023-3-10
Information Source:South Sudan Red Crescent society and IFRC
Comments: On the 22nd February, Medicines' San Frontiers Spain (MSF Spain) in Malakal, Upper Nile State received alert of increasing cases of acute watery diarrhea and vomiting in children aged 1 year and below. Two samples were collected and tested positive for cholera on rapid diagnostic testing (RDT). Additional nine samples were collected and transported to the National Public Health Laboratory in Juba on the 2nd March 2023 for culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Two out of the nine samples tested positive for Vibrio cholerae on PCR testing. On 25th February 2023, Ministry of Health received notification of suspected case of cholera from Malaka, Upper Nile State. Since then, the Malakal county continue to received more alerts of increasing cases of acute watery diarrhoea and vomiting. The Malakal cholera update of 11 March 2023 reported a total of 265 cholera cases including one death have been reported from Malakal, Upper Nile State. Most of the cases are males (147/55%) while 118 accounting for 45% are females. Overall, case patients between 0-4years old are mostly affected. Since February, the curve of children under 4 have represent between 91% to 95% of the reported cases. On 7th March the children from 0 to 4 years were already 170 (95%) of the 179 cases reported. Of these, 109 (61%) are from Malakal Town, while 70 (39%) are from Malakal Protection of Civilians Sites (POC). The Malakal PoC site was born out of the civil war that started in South Sudan on 15 December 2013. At the time, civilians were fleeing from indiscriminate and deliberate attacks and their only place of refuge was the UNMISS Base in Malakal. To date, it remains a crucial safe haven for 34,056 IDPs/civilians (source: DRC April 2021 population head count) who still perceive the security environment outside the PoC site as unsafe, with the PoC site continuing to serve as a critical coping mechanism for populations facing risk in Malakal and beyond. With the positive PCR test result, the Ministry of Health hereby declared a confirmed outbreak of cholera in Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan on 7th March 2023, and issued situation report number one.
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