Juba. The World Health Organization (WHO) says it has strengthened disease detection and response in war-torn South Sudan to help prevent further disease spread.
WHO Representative in South Sudan, Abdulmumini Usman, said Tuesday the WHO was working to detect and respond to multiple disease outbreaks and to ensure South Sudan’s health ministry and partners have skills and knowledge to do their part.
The efforts included the training of more than 1,300 health workers in such areas as disease detection, outbreak investigation and response, Usman said in a statement released in Juba.
WHO estimates that 12.3 million people in South Sudan are at risk due to disease outbreaks.
Frequent disease outbreaks are driven by multiple factors, including conflict that has led to displacement of people and poor environmental conditions.
Tens of thousands have been killed and more than two million displaced since civil war erupted in December 2013.
“South Sudan is a challenging work environment because of insecurity and a limited ability to access some of the country’s most vulnerable people,” said Usman.
According to the WHO, infectious diseases pose a major public health challenge and cause significant levels of illness, disability and death in South Sudan. The country’s weak public health systems aggravate the situation. Malaria is one of the biggest causes of illness and death in South Sudan with nearly three million cases reported since 2015.
Cholera is also a major public health concern with more than 4,500 cases reported since 2015. Measles and kala azar are also major concerns. (Xinhua)