Officials in Yirol East County of Lakes State say at least four children have died of suspected measles since the country announced an outbreak.
The deaths have been recorded in the internally displaced persons’ camp (IDP) in Yirol East hosting members of the Panyijiar community from neighboring Unity State.
The Paramount Chief of the Panyijiar community in the IDP camp, Biliu Mayong, said that 4 Panyijiar IDPs children died of measles outbreaks upon their arrival in Lakes State.
“We came from Panyijiar county this week, and on our way, we lost four Panyijiar children as a result of the measles outbreak. It’s very unfortunate and more children are suffering from the measles outbreak and hunger due to lack of food,” he said.
Chief Mayong said the IDPs, mostly women, depend on fetching firewood for sale to feed their families.
“The healthcare centers are empty, no medicines, no food, no clean drinking water for the IDPs, and above all there are no shelters for sleeping. People sleep with children in open places in the cold weather,” he complained.
He appealed to the humanitarian organizations to conduct an assessment and urgently intervene especially by vaccinating children against measles and proving food and clean drinking water.
Simon Gatkoi, a camp leader in Yirol East county confirmed that children are at risk of contracting measles and succumbing to it and that the IDPs lack basic needs.
“I am very happy today that I can speak to the media about the dire condition facing the Panyijiar IDPs in Amongpiny and Yirol East. First of all, there is a measles outbreak killing children in the IDPs camp, no food, no water, and no shelters,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Lakes State Relief and Rehabilitation Commission’s deputy chairperson, Adhuk Achol Geu, said after an assessment with the United Nations World Food Program, a consignment of food items will be delivered to the IDPs in Amongpiny of Rumbek Center and Yirol East counties.
“There is a new influx of 1,171 households with 7,047 individuals in Amongpiny Payam of Rumbek Center and Yirol East counties of Lakes State,” he said. “ The team comprising of national ministry of health and members of World Health Organization are in greater Yirol for assessment of measles outbreak which has been confirmed in Yirol East County.”