News and Reports from Southern Sudan - February 2010


WHO warns: Aid shortfall may leave millions sick and starving in Southern Sudan

A recent news item by John Zarocostas in the British Medical Journal1 reported that the World Health Organization is warning that shortfalls in aid will strike a severe blow at efforts to deliver essential healthcare services to the 8 million people in Southern Sudan. WHO asked for $27m in healthcare aid for Southern Sudan but so far has received only $2.8m.

Dr Mohamed Abdur Rab, WHO’s country representative in Sudan, is quoted as saying:

  • "The region is highly burdened by infectious and chronic diseases and has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality (2054 deaths per 100 000 live births) and of infant mortality (150 deaths per 1000 children aged 12 months or under)".
  • ·"There is a huge dearth of skilled manpower in health. At present about 75-80% of the health coverage in Southern Sudan is provided by non-governmental organisations, and they cover just 25% of the population".
  • "There is only one tertiary hospital, in the capital, Juba, that provides some specialist treatment, as the other hospitals are not adequately equipped".
  • "The region has only 10 fully qualified and skilled nurses".
  • "Only one in five children are fully vaccinated".

1. BMJ 2009; 339:b4659


Data from: Weekly Epidemiology Bulletin Week 7-13 December 2009. Ministry of Health GoSS

Reports from 45 out of a total of 79 counties.

- Of the 9729 health events reported 8562 (88%) were due to malaria.

- Of the 27 reported deaths 22 (81%) were caused by malaria.

- Almost all the remaining health events and deaths were due to acute watery or bloody diarrhoea