Over 2 Million Malaria Cases Reported In South Sudan In 2015

“In 2015 South Sudan experienced an unprecedented malaria outbreak, with nearly 2.28 million malaria cases and 1,340 deaths reported across the country. This was a sharp increase compared to 1.54 million cases and 718 deaths in 2014.”

The United Nation Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator |(UN-OCHA) in South Sudan in its first issue of humanitarian bulleting for 2016 released on Monday said over 2 million malaria cases were reported across the country last year.

“In 2015 South Sudan experienced an unprecedented malaria outbreak, with nearly 2.28 million malaria cases and 1,340 deaths reported across the country. This was a sharp increase compared to 1.54 million cases and 718 deaths in 2014.” said OCHA.

The Humanitarian partners say the outbreak in 2015 took a toll majorly on children below the age of 5 years old.

“…..The outbreak in 2015 took a particularly harsh toll on children under age 5, who accounted for almost a third of the reported cases – nearly 896,500 – and 75 per cent of the deaths – about 1,010” it continued.

OCHA said the number of cases in 2015 increased sharply compared to previous years. The outbreak was magnified by shortages of malaria drugs and diagnostic tests in several locations.

OCHA said, the highest number of cases was reported in the latter half of the year as transmission increased with the onset of the rainy season in June and peaked from September to November.

“A Malaria Task Force formed in October 2015 to respond to the outbreak and partners have undertaken numerous activities including, larviciding and distribution of insecticide treated nets, as well as campaigns to identify and treat cases” further reads the statement.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans caused by parasitic protozoan. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, fatigue, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death.

Prevention of malaria may be more cost-effective than treatment of the disease in the long run, but the initial costs required are out of reach of many of the world's poorest people.

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