MSF Vaccination Campaign in Pibor. [File Photo]
BY Jok P Mayom
JUBA, 27 July 2016 [Gurtong]-The Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) also known as doctors without borders said it will today start a vaccination campaign to protect people who have a higher risk of contracting Cholera in Juba.
In a news letter to Gurtong, MSF says the first phase of the campaign will cover 4,000 people living at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Tomping on Wednesday 27th to Thursday 28th July 2016.
“233 cases of cholera have now been recorded in Juba and 5 people have died from the disease. In Tomping camp, 6 suspected Cholera cases have been reported, which, together with the living conditions at the camp, leaves its residents at a higher risk of contracting the disease” says MSF.
The International Medical organization said in the coming days, people who have been in close contact with those who have Cholera and health workers caring for affected patients will also be vaccinated.
“These targeted vaccinations will help to limit the spread of Cholera amongst people who are more at risk. They are part of a wider strategy that is aiming bring the outbreak to an end as quickly as possible,” said Stephanie Remion, MSF Head of Mission.
As well as providing targeted vaccinations, MSF is supporting the Ministry of Health (MoH) to run a Cholera Treatment Centre at the Juba Teaching Hospital as well as providing care and training of MoH staff in best practice for Cholera treatment.
“We want to make sure people know that if they have watery diarrhoea more than three times in one day then they may have Cholera,” said Anja Wolz, MSF Emergency Coordinator.
“With early diagnosis and treatment, people have a very good chance of survival. Treatment starts at home – people should drink Oral Rehydration Solution and then seek medical care as quickly as possible.” Anja added.
The Medic said people who think they have Cholera should go to their nearest Oral Rehydration Points (ORPs), which have been set up at the following hospitals and health centres; Gurei, Kator, Lologo, Gumbo, Munuki, Gorom, Morobo, Mahad, Khor Williams, Al Geida, Al Sabbah Children’s Hospital and Juba Teaching Hospital.
The medic further added that the points are open between 7am and 6pm every day. If people are very ill, or become unwell at night when the ORPs are closed, they can come to the Juba Teaching Hospital for treatment.
Over the past two weeks, MSF has trucked more than 1 ½ million litres of clean drinking water to people in Juba, which also helps to protect against outbreaks.
“People can help to protect their families by making sure that the water they drink is clean and safe, using latrines, washing hands with soap or ash, and making sure that the places where food is prepared and eaten are clean.” said Anja Wolz.
MSF teams continue to run mobile clinics in four locations across Juba and have now treated more than 6,000 people in the city. The organisation is also providing surgeries to people who were more seriously wounded during the recent violence and is continuing to provide free healthcare across South Sudan.