Red Cross responds to cholera outbreak in South Sudan

Topics: Africa, Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
July 18, 2014

The South Sudan Red Cross is mobilizing volunteers in the wake of a cholera outbreak which has affected more than 2,900 people. Over 100 trained volunteers are going door-to-door in affected areas and informing families about cholera, how they can protect themselves against the disease, and what to do in the event a family member falls sick.  To date, South Sudan Red Cross volunteers have reached over 20,000 households.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection and is most often spread by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated. With rainy season in progress, ongoing conflict, food insecurity, and logistics and sanitation challenges, the cholera risks are especially high in the region.

In addition to prevention efforts local Red Cross volunteers are distributing oral rehydration solution to prevent dehydration resulting from diarrhea and vomiting as a result of cholera. Families are also receiving purification tablets and solutions so they can treat their drinking water, and soap to encourage hand washing.

The South Sudan Red Cross is a member of the national and state task forces on cholera, and participates in coordination meetings concerning water, sanitation, hygiene and social mobilization to ensure maximum impact of the support provided. 

The Canadian Red Cross is supporting cholera response operations on the ground through the deployment of funds and an aid worker.  Additional personnel and supplies remain on stand-by, ready to be deployed quickly if requested. 

Canadians who wish to support Red Cross efforts in South Sudan can make a donation to the Canadian Red Cross International Disaster Relief Fund. This fund allows us to accelerate our response in disasters and directly help the most vulnerable during times of emergencies. Your support provides us with dedicated funds to respond immediately following a disaster with essential supplies and trained personnel, so that we are able to save lives and ease suffering.

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