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Medical charity decries high death rate in S Sudan

Updated: 2014-06-20 20:10
( Xinhua)

Medical charity decries high death rate in S Sudan

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NAIROBI -- International medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said Friday the displaced people in South Sudan are dying of preventable diseases at an alarming rate at the UN base in Bentiu.

Medical team leader of an MSF hospital on site, Nora Echaibi, called for a rapid increase in water supplies, hygiene promotion and latrine construction, saying diseases and severe acute malnutrition are causing an alarming number of deaths among the estimated 45,000 people taking refuge at a UN base in Bentiu.

"People came here for safety but they are facing life-threatening conditions inside the camps. It is rapidly becoming catastrophic," Echaibi said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The medical charity said the number of people seeking protection at the base increased nearly tenfold in the last two months due to relentless violence in Unity State, while recent flooding has left the area without enough clean water or sanitation facilities.

Some 1.5 million people have been uprooted by violence in the past six months alone and the situation continues to deteriorate.

Despite the ceasefire, the UN reported ongoing violence and conflict. With the onset of the rains, cholera has broken out and malaria is taking its toll on children and on adults alike.

Aid agencies have just released a new plan to help 3.8 million people in South Sudan by December with emergency healthcare, food, clean water, sanitation and shelter.

Medical reports from the camp show that at least three children under 5 years old are dying per day in the Bentiu Protection of Civilians sites.

Most of the deaths are due to acute diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition which are linked to the harsh conditions.