Measles death toll in South Sudan state hits 61

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Juba, Aug 12 (IANS) Health officials in South Sudan’s Unity state has confirmed 21 more measles deaths among children aged between 5 and 10 years, bringing the total death toll to 61.

Elijah Nyuon Kuoyuot, the health surveillance officer in Rubkona County, said on Friday that the latest deaths have been recorded in Rubkona and Koch counties, and in Bentiu internally displaced persons camp where some of the returnees and refugees who fled ongoing conflict in neighbouring Sudan are being hosted.

“Measles death cases have rapidly increased due to congestion in the reception centres and in internally displaced persons camps in Bentiu,” Kuoyuot told Xinhua in an interview over the phone.

The Unity State Ministry of Health initially confirmed 40 measles deaths and more than 800 admitted cases of measles in July alone, Xinhua news agency reported.

Kuoyuot said they fear for the worst amid daily new arrivals of returnees and refugees across the border with Sudan.

“As I am talking now some death cases are not being reported to health facilities, so we are encouraging mothers and caretakers to immediately report any suspected case of measles disease to any nearest health facility,” he added.



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