International Medical Corps Responding to Hepatitis E Outbreak in South Sudan
The International Medical Corps (IMC) rolled out an Outbreak Preparedness and Response Strategy for Hepatitis-E Virus (HEV) in response to an outbreak that occurred in Maban County, South Sudan. HEV causes an infection of the liver and can be transmitted by ingesting water and food contaminated with feces. HEV usually proliferates in places with inadequate hygiene. So far, 31 cases of HEV have been confirmed throughout refugee camps in Maban, and 16 deaths have been recorded, with the number of cases increasing daily. IMC’s outbreak strategy includes active surveillance, treatment, management, and referral protocol. The organization is also creating a 24-hour, 10-bed isolation unit to manage hemorrhagic jaundice cases. Community outreach, social mobilization, and active surveillance of acute jaundice cases are in progress. To raise awareness, the IMC carried out a series of community leader trainings, concentrating on signs and symptoms of HEV; methods of preventing HEV; and the importance of timely referral, particularly for pregnant females. IMC has trained 25 community volunteers on health and hygiene promotion, health education, and active case finding of acute jaundice. Also, the IMC is providing primary health care, nutrition, water, and hygiene and sanitation services in the Gendrassa refugee camp. For more information, visit: http://internationalmedicalcorps.org/page.aspx?pid=2374.
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