UN sounds alarm on South Sudan hepatitis E outbreak
GENEVA (AFP) - The UN's refugee agency warned on Friday that an outbreak of hepatitis E among refugees in South Sudan was worsening and that it did not have the needed funds to contain it.
"With funding depleted for our operations in South Sudan, UNHCR is warning today that the capacity to contain an outbreak of hepatitis E among the refugee population is increasingly stretched," agency spokesman Adrian Edwards lamented to reporters in Geneva.
The UNHCR and other aid organisations were already battling a hepatitis E outbreak in Upper Nile and Unity states - "two regions where the disease is endemic and where 175,000 Sudanese refugees are settled," he explained.
Some 1,050 cases of the virus, which is spread through the consumption of contaminated food and water and which damages the liver, had been detected in the refugee camps, he said.