At least 100 people killed by malaria in South Sudan between January and July

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FILE PHOTO: A worker takes a mosquito to analyse it for the presence of malaria parasite. (Photo by CRISTINA ALDEHUELA / AFP)

At least 100 people have been killed by malaria in South Sudan since the beginning of the year, according to a report by the nation’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation.

The report said that a mortality surveillance in Bentiu camp for internally displaced persons in Unity State showed that a higher number of deaths have been reported in 2020 compared to 2019.

“Malaria cases have increased in Bentiu PoC; Juba PoC, Malakal PoC and Wau PoC and is the top cause of morbidity in Bentiu PoC and Juba PoC.”

The report further attributes cases of malaria to the flooding situation in the country occasioned by heavy rains.

A W.H.O. official in the country, Dr. Joseph Wamala said the report revealed that malaria had exceeded acute respiratory infections as the leading cause of morbidity in the area.

“Malaria accounts for 42 per cent of OPD consultations representing a 45 per cent increase from week 27 of June, 2020,” Wamala said.

“This proportion may be affected by the current triage of patients due to Covid-19. ARI proportional morbidity in 2020 is lower compared to the corresponding period of 2019.”

Wamala added that malaria cases in Malakal camp in Unity State had increased by 125 percent since late June.

Malaria has been identified as one of the top causes of illness and death in South Sudan with most cases and deaths occurring in children and expectant mothers. The W.H.O. estimated that at least 1.3 million people fell ill with malaria in 2017.

South Sudan, which is also currently grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, faces serious health challenges due a fractured health system and insecurity problems.

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