International efforts are underway to prevent spread of Ebola to South Sudan.
A high-level delegation led by South Sudan’s Undersecretary of Health, United Nations agencies, ambassadors from donor countries, and representatives of international nongovernmental organizations will visit Yei to see first-hand the activities underway to prepare for, and respond to, a potential Ebola outbreak. The delegation will travel to Yei on Monday 15 July to meet with the Governor and his cabinet as well as the local EVD taskforce. The aim of the visit is to confirm the commitment of development partners and the UN to supporting prevention and preparedness activities as well as to get a better understanding of the challenges on the ground.
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is one of the most fatal and highly infectious diseases known to the world. The on-going outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the second largest outbreak reported globally. As of 1 July 2019, 2260 cases have been confirmed, 94 classified as probable and 1586 deaths have been reported. The risk of transmission of EVD into countries that share borders with DRC, including South Sudan, has been classified as “very high” by WHO.
Cases of EVD have recently been confirmed in Uganda and in Ariwara, a town in DRC located just 70km from the border with South Sudan. The Republic of South Sudan Ministry of Health The Ministry of Health, National Task Force, WHO and partners are implementing the National EVD Preparedness Plan, including vaccinating front-line health workers, conducting screening at multiple locations to help with early detection of cases, training personnel in infection prevention and control as well as being prepared in case safe and dignified burial processes are needed. Tens of thousands of people in high-risk areas are being educated about prevention and response measures.
Despite the risk, it is important to note that there is no Ebola virus in South Sudan so there is no need for people to panic. Ebola is a serious disease, but it can be prevented through proper hygiene practices such as frequent hand washing with soap and clean water and avoiding touching people with Ebola symptoms.
People should continue to be vigilant about their health and immediately seek medical help or call the Ebola hotline on 6666 if they experience symptoms such as fever, diarrhoea, headaches, vomiting, aching muscles and joints, fatigue and bleeding from the body.
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