UNHCR warns of growing hepatitis E among refugees in South SudanListen /
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has warned that it is running out of money to contain an outbreak of Hepatitis E among Sudanese refugees in South Sudan.
The agency says the disease, which damages the liver and is caused by consuming contaminated food and water, has killed 26 refugees in Upper Nile state.
According to UNHCR, more than 1,000 cases of Hepatitis E have been reported in the refugee camps.
UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards says the agency and its partners are already fighting the outbreak of the disease in Upper Nile and Unity states, where 175,000 Sudanese refugees are settled.
"With funding depleted for our operations in South Sudan, UNHCR is today warning that capacity to contain an outbreak of hepatitis E among the refugee population is increasingly jeopardized. The risks will grow if, as currently anticipated, we see fresh inflows of refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in neighbouring Sudan. At present we expect thousands of new refugees to cross over the next few weeks as soon as roads become passable after the current rainy season." (Duration: 29")
UNHCR says that women and children are the most vulnerable to the risk of Hepatitis E infection which is high in densely populated settings such as refugee camps.