The World Health Organization (WHO) said they have started an investigation over the deaths of almost 100 people in the town of Fangak in Jonglei state in Southern Sudan.
“We decided to send a rapid response team to go and do risk assessment and investigation; that is when they will be able to collect samples from the sick people – but provisionally the figure that we got was that there were 89 deaths,” a spokesperson from the WHO, Sheila Baya told the BBC.
Baya said that the team of scientists had to reach Fangak via a helicopter due to severe flooding in the area, adding that the group is waiting for transport to return them to the capital Juba today (Wednesday).
Baya, citing local health officials in Jonglei, said the initial samples of the sick people have returned negative results for cholera.
The International charity Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) previously had said this year’s flooding crippled South Sudan’s health facilities.
“We are extremely concerned about malnutrition, with severe acute malnutrition levels two times the WHO threshold and the number of children admitted to our hospital with severe malnutrition doubling since the start of the floods,” MSF added.
Earlier this month, the WHO outpost in South Sudan had flagged flooding in parts of Jonglei had destroyed drug stocks and “increased the burden of malaria, diarrhea and other diseases”.
This is as Concern’s County Director in South Sudan, Shumon Sengupta said over 200,000 people, more than a quarter of the local populations in the Unity State of Fangak have been forced to leave their homes as a result of rising floodwaters.
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