Hepatitis E outbreak in South Sudan

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January 18, 2013

Refugee camps in South Sudan are gripped with an outbreak of Hepatitis E. Maban County is one of the several locations where the outbreak is severe. The condition is prevalent in the camps from where refugees are fleeing Blue Nile and adjoining provinces of Sudan where fighting and tension is going on. Over 100,000 people arrived at Maban County last year alone. Maban earlier used to be a small population place. Thousands of people who are camping at Jamam, Gendrassa and Batil in the county are now reported to be suffering with Hepatitis E. It is relatively simple to determine if a person has Hepatitis E or not. The most visible condition is the occurrence of 'yellow eye' or jaundice. Sadly, the youngsters and pregnant women are the easy targets. 2% of the infected population often die. The success rate even with those who are admitted in hospitals and given medical treatment is also poor. Almost 18% of such patients die. The newly born country South Sudan, is suffering from many things, bad economy, conflict with its neighbour Sudan and internal tensions. And there are poor or almost no medical facilities in many parts. The donkey ambulance, as it is called, in which a donkey is used to carry the patient too weak to walk to the nearest medical facility, often a tent, is the most common mode of transportation, particularly in the camp sites.

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