SSMJ February 2020


Floods, conflicts and diseases: South Sudan’s triple tragedy

Since July 2019 many parts of South Sudan has experienced heavy downpours that has led to flooding and displacement. Although floods do occur in these areas occasionally, the level it reached this time had never been seen before. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that since July almost a million people have been affected by the abnormally heavy seasonal floods across the country.

News, Reports and Policy

Public health impacts and responses to floods

A flood, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “a rising and overflowing of a body of water especially onto normally dry land”. Flooding can occur when a river, lake or any body of water overflows its boundaries, or when heavy rains lead to accumulation of water in an already saturated area with no escape channels. These waters can rise quickly and rapidly – as in flash floods – or rise slowly over a long period of time. Floods can be local, impacting a small community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and regions.


According to the World Malaria Report 2019, an estimated 228 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide in 2018, with 93% in the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region. In 2018 there were an estimated 405 000 deaths from malaria globally, compared with 416 000 in 2017, and 585 000 in 2010.

Clinical Guidance

Measles: South Sudan’s battle against a preventable killer

Worldwide, measles is a significant cause of preventable deaths among children below the age of five years. Globally, in 2015, it accounted for 134,200 deaths which was equivalent to 367 deaths daily or 15 deaths every hour. The vast majority of these deaths occur in low-income countries, especially sub-Saharan Africa.


Underreporting of Hepatitis E virus infection in Tanzania: a systematic review

In Africa HEV seroprevalence varies greatly from 0%-94% in the general population and outbreaks, with the case fatality rates of 17.8% and 42.1% in the general population and pregnant women respectively. The largest outbreak in Africa was reported in Uganda in 2007, which led to an attack rate of 25% of the population. Tanzania, one of the most resource-constrained countries in Africa, has poor foeto-maternal outcomes and a high burden of HIV and HBV infections. Clear information on the actual extent of HEV infection is needed. In this study we reviewed the available literature on HEV infection to determine the current situation, and to identify future areas of study.

Contraception method following spontaneous abortion in N’djamena Mother and Child Hospital

In Chad, the prevalence of women using contraceptive methods is 6% which correlates with a high fertility rate of 6.4%. There is a high maternal mortality rate of 860 /100,000 live births. One way to help curb maternal mortality is by increasing contraceptive use and closing the gap on unmet needs for contraception among women of child bearing age. The proactive management of contraception following abortion is rare in Chad. This study aimed to describe the characteristics of patients accepting contraception and the main methods of contraception used after a spontaneous abortion.

The burden of hypertension and its associated factors among adults in Ruvuma, Southern Tanzania

The burden of non-communicable diseases is increasing in developing countries. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2030, non-communicable diseases may cause up to46 % of deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. he objective of this study was to determine the burden of hypertension and assess associated factors among adults visiting the outpatient unit of a tertiary level health facility in Ruvuma, Tanzania.

Case Reports

Case Report: Necrotizing fasciitis of the neck with odontogenic origin

Necrotizing fasciitis is a severe and rare infectious disease. There is extensive necrosis of subcutaneous tissues and fascia layers, and gangrene. To reduce mortality, a rapid diagnosis, aggressive surgical treatment, and appropriate antibiotic therapy are essential. Usually the underlying cause is dental and especially common in immunologically compromised patients. This case report is an example managed by the authors.


Scurvy among young male South Sudanese refugees in Kakuma camp: Summary

In 2018, several adolescent and young adult male South Sudanese refugees in Kakuma camp presented with lower limb pain and swelling, lethargy, fatigue, gingival swelling and pain, hyperkeratotic skin changes, and chest pain. For some the limb pain was severe enough to prevent them attending school and playing football (the highlights of their day). Scurvy was suspected and all cases improved when given vitamin C.

International Medical Corps strengthens nutrition alert and surveillance systems in South Sudan

In 2015 International Medical Corps (IMC) established a Nutrition Alert and Surveillance Strengthening (NASS) team to support the Food Security and Nutrition Monitoring System (FSNMS)