MSF reports high child death rate in South Sudan Camps

AlertNet

By Katy Migiro

NAIROBI (AlertNet) – Child death rates have soared past emergency levels in a second refugee camp in South Sudan, medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) warned on Thursday.

An average of five children are dying each day in Yida camp in Unity State, mostly from diarrhoea and severe infections – double the emergency threshold for children under five of two deaths per 10,000 children per day.

In July, MSF said almost nine children were dying every day in an Upper Nile camp, known as Jammam.

“The number of children dying in Yida camp is appalling,” André Heller-Pérache, MSF’s head of mission in South Sudan said in a statement.

“Our medical teams are working round the clock in desperate conditions trying to save lives.”

The camp is home to more than 55,000 refugees fleeing conflict over the border in Sudan’s South Kordofan state where government forces have been fighting rebels for the last year.

The adult mortality rate in Yida is also double the emergency threshold for adults, with two deaths per 10,000 people per day.

WEAKENED BY DIARRHOEA

In addition, MSF found that a third of children in the recently established Batil camp in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state are malnourished.

Some 18 percent of children under two are suffering from the most serious type of malnutrition, known as severe acute malnutrition (SAM), which leads to death without medical intervention. The emergency threshold for SAM is 2 percent.

The 34,000 refugees in Batil camp are fleeing another conflict between the Sudanese government and rebels, this time in Blue Nile state.

“The majority of our patients in both camps are malnourished children who are further weakened when they contract diarrhoea, malaria or respiratory infections,” said Heller-Pérache.  Read more…

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