Photo: A doctor does his rounds in MSF’s Hepatitis E ward in Maban County’s Batil camp. South Sudan 2013 © Corinne Baker/MSF
MSF Responds To Hepatitis E Outbreak In South Sudan Refugee Camps
An epidemic of hepatitis E is escalating across refugee camps in South Sudan’s Maban County. To date, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated 3,991 patients in its health facilities in the camps and has recorded 88 deaths, including 15 pregnant women.
Hepatitis E is a virus that causes liver disease and can lead to acute liver failure and death. It is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. Like cholera, the virus spreads in environments with poor sanitation and contaminated water. There is no cure, but its symptoms are treatable.
“We have been doing everything we can to care for people with hepatitis E, but there is no treatment for the disease,” says Dr. José-Luis Dvorzak, MSF Medical Coordinator in Maban County. “We suspect this outbreak is far from over, and many more people will die.”