UNHCR alarmed by health situation of Sudanese refugees in South SudanListen /
There is growing concern among aid agencies about the health of about 170,000 Sudanese refugees in camps and informal settlements in South Sudan.
The UN Refugee agency (UNHCR) says the refugees are living in overcrowded conditions without clean water and basic sanitation services which cause respiratory tract infections, diarrhoea and malaria.
Children in the camps are also severely malnourished as their mothers or other care givers are often too sick and weak to look after them properly.
UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards says over 200 community health promoters have been signed up to assist in educating the refugees on good hygiene practices.
"UNHCR and its partners have this month launched an extensive health and hygiene outreach programme. We are putting particular emphasis on good basic hygiene trying to impress upon refugees the importance of fundamentals like hand-washing, collecting water in clean buckets and jerry-cans and not defecating in the open. We are continuing to build latrines in all five camps in an attempt to keep pace with new arrivals.
All agencies have struggled to maintain adequate hygiene and sanitation. The refugee population has grown from 99,000 in April to the current almost 170,000."