Published: 3 March 2006
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is launching an emergency appeal for a total amount of 1 million Swiss francs (US $ 879 000, euro 736 000) to support the Sudanese Red Crescent Society in immediately responding to a cholera outbreak in Southern Sudan for a period of three months.
The cholera outbreak has been affecting the areas of Juba and Yei since the beginning of February but the disease is also reportedly spreading to other locations east of Juba. On March 1st, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 4,906 cases and 89 deaths. The region is a transit area for displaced people returning to their homes, and 5,000 of them are staying in a camp outside Juba. Densely populated areas, such as this camp, are of particular concern.
The operation is designed to help contain the outbreak in the region, limiting the spread of the disease among people at risk. It also aims at building the capacity of the Sudanese Red Crescent to mobilize, train and manage an increased number of volunteers, especially in Juba.
A total of 165 Sudanese Red Crescent volunteers are currently in action with 90 of them mobilized in Juba. They formed house-to-house hygiene promotion teams to circulate in the residential areas. More than 50 % of the estimated population has already been visited. Additional teams have undertaken cleaning operations in the marketplaces.
Some 100,000 Swiss francs from the International Federation’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund have been allocated to start the operation. The funds will be used to immediately transport supplies, including water purification tablets, chlorine powder and medicines. Some 90 000 beneficiaries will benefit from the operation. The International Federation is working closely with other humanitarian agencies to ensure effective cooperation to deal with this crisis in the affected areas.
Twenty years of widespread conflict between North and South Sudan have contributed to making the country one of the poorest in the world, with an estimated total number of 4 million displaced persons, making the country vulnerable to serious health crises like cholera outbreaks.