National, News

HEATWAVE kills 15, Meningitis on increase-Cabinet

By Charles K Mark


At least 15 children have died of high temperatures in the country, council of ministers disclosed.

National Minister of Information, Michael Makuei Lueth told the press that, health minister, Yolanda Awel Deng, reported the death cases to the cabinet.

Makuei, in a related scenario, reported concerns of an increase in Meningitis cases in the country, linking it to excess heat.

“The Minister of Health has reported to us that there have recorded some cases of Meningitis and death of especially children, (About 15), and this is a result of the impact of the heat wave,” Makuei told the media.

Makuei divulged that the concern of threats of heatwave was raised by Vice President, Rebecca Nyandeng, in the cabinet meeting.

“Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng quoted the meteorologists predicting that the prolonged period of intense heat will persist for at least two weeks,” Makuei said.

According to Makuei, the cabinet has directed three ministries; Health, Education and Environment to conduct a thorough review of the climate situation.

The cabinet anticipates the closure of schools in case the situation persists.

“If the situation continues to be like that the government might take other steps like closure of schools,” he warned.

Makuei didn’t specify the exact locations of high cases of meningitis and where the deaths were registered.

But in a related health alert, a surveillance report at Mayen Abun Hospital, in Twic County, Warrap State, has recorded about 10 death cases due to meningitis since the beginning of the year.

Other cases were also reported, with one person among those admitted to the hospital losing life, to the disease.

Meningitis is a treatable disease, and inoculation against the viral strain is an effective preventive measure.

The symptoms of meningitis include inflammation of the meninges, neck stiffness, photophobia, fever, chills, and vomiting.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment alerted this week that Juba and various regions of South Sudan are currently in the grip of a scorching heatwave.

According to the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Africano Bartel, this week, temperatures are expected to soar to a staggering 41 degrees Celsius, and in some areas, even reach up to 45 degrees Celsius.

“High heat and humidity may cause heat stress during outdoor activity or extended exposure. 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 said.



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