On the third anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, the humanitarian situation remains critical for the country and it is on the brink of famine and facing a public health crisis.
The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon’s, prophecy that half of South Sudan’s 10 million people could be either “displaced internally, refugees abroad, starving or dead by the year’s end” looks depressingly accurate.
With the difficulties of numerous ceasefire attempts, the impact of the ongoing conflict is exacerbating South Sudan’s situation. Public health crises are a growing concern for the estimated one million people displaced by the violence, with malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) representing just some of the many communicable diseases that thrive in such situations.
Despite the complexities, Malaria Consortium continues to work on a number of public health interventions in South Sudan, including, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and World Food Programme, integrating the treatment of severe acute malnutrition and the most common childhood diseases - malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. Malaria Consortium has also supported assessments, mappings and mass drug administrations to reduce the burden of NTDs in the country.
“The humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is extremely worrying,” said Malaria Consortium’s Chief Executive, Charles Nelson. “The health infrastructure of the country remains very weak after the last civil war and diseases such as malaria and NTDs, if neglected, will make a resurgence in the region which will cost lives. Control programmes should not be allowed to lose ground and need to continue.”
With an estimated 90 percent of the 10 million population in South Sudan likely to be infected by at least one NTD, a cycle of poverty is perpetuated from generation to generation and can result in further suffering for the whole population. Furthermore, almost all of South Sudan is thought to be malaria endemic, with high transmission throughout the year.
For further information, please contact Alex Hulme, Advocacy Manager, [email protected]
Country: South Sudan
Keywords: Community delivery