14th June 2024
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15 children die of meningitis, heat-related conditions: MoH

Author: Baria Johnson | Published: Friday, March 15, 2024

Health Minister Yolanda Awel Deng speaks at the launch of Master Plan against Neglected Tropical Diseases. (-)

The National Ministry of Health reported the death of at least 15 children due meningitis and exposure to the heatwave during the Council of Ministers meeting on Friday.

Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth, who briefed reporters following the cabinet meeting, did not clarify the period during which the child deaths occurred.

Minister Makuei said the cabinet directed the Ministers of Health, Education and Environment to sit down and brief the public on the precautionary measures.

Makuei stressed that if the heatwave continues, the government may be forced to close schools.

“The minister of health gave us a report that because of this high heat there are cases of Meningitis and cases of death of children because of exposure to the heat,” he said.

“The Minister of Health reported to us that about 15 children have been reported dead.”

“So, the cabinet after through deliberation decided that the minsters of health, education and environment should sit down and review the situation carefully and make a press conference to brief the people of South Sudan on this heat wave.”

On Thursday, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry urged the public to take precautions and avoid direct exposure to sunlight amid the extreme heatwave.

Joseph Africano Bartel, Undersecretary in the Ministry issued an extreme heat advisory on Thursday – forecasting temperatures varying from 41 to 45 degrees Celsius for two weeks in Juba and most parts of South Sudan.

He said extreme heat can cause illness and death among the at-risk population who cannot stay cool such as seniors, infants and those with chronic health problems or mental health conditions.

He advised that if the high temperatures persist, schools and facilities without cooling systems and ventilation should close until cooler conditions return.

Bartel cautioned the public to avoid tedious outdoor activities during the daytime, stay hydrated, take cool showers, stay indoors as much as possible and avoid direct sunlight.

He also suggested regular check on those most at risk including infants, elderly and critically ill several times a day and advised against leaving children or pets alone in closed vehicles.

Among other measures, the public is encouraged to wear light weight, light-colored clothing, find an air-conditioned shelter if possible, and the phone number of your doctor or health facility readily available in case of emergency.









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