Via ReliefWeb, a report from MSF: MSF rapidly scales up response to contain cholera outbreak. Excerpt:
23 May 2014, Juba: More than 315 cholera cases have been recorded in South Sudan since the Ministry of Health (MoH) officially declared an outbreak in the capital, Juba, on 15 May 2014. In other locations around the country there have been suspected cases that are awaiting laboratory confirmation. Medical humanitarian aid organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) immediately responded, organising multiple donations of essential supplies to support MoH health facilities.
In a race to help contain the outbreak, MSF’s emergency teams also began setting up a site for a cholera treatment center; prospecting further locations for other potential treatment centres; providing safe water; conducting awareness campaigns; and organising cholera vaccinations in camps for displaced people (IDPs).
“Following five months of intense conflict, dire conditions in many camps for displaced people, and a worsening rainy season, we are concerned about the impact of the disease,” says Mr. Brian P. Moller, MSF Head of Mission in South Sudan. “Yet cholera can be simply and effectively treated if caught early enough. MSF’s priority is to ensure a quick and efficient response to contain the outbreak as much as possible, working on both the treatment of patients and the prevention of the disease.”
In Juba, over the last week, MSF has been providing essential supplies to a number of small MoH clinics in the city, but in particular to Juba Teaching Hospital, currently the only cholera treatment centre. These donations included cholera beds, testing kits, chlorine solution, and oral rehydration salts (ORS). MSF also sent cholera-experienced clinicians and a water and sanitation expert to support hospital staff.
At the same time, MSF teams began constructing a 50-bed cholera treatment center (CTC) in Gudele district, one of the areas most affected by the outbreak. This CTC will be fully operational this weekend, with the capacity to expand to 100 beds, when necessary.
The organisation also plans to open other CTC’s in the capital to increase treatment capacity in the coming weeks. In the IDP camps in Juba, where MSF has been providing healthcare since December, emergency teams have already identified CTC sites in the event of outbreaks there, and are also carrying out health promotion activities.