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Child Mortality At Twice The Emergency Rate In South Sudan Refugee Camp, MSF Reports

“Children in a refugee camp in South Sudan are dying at more than twice the rate internationally recognized as an emergency, according to new figures [.pdf] released by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF),” the Guardian reports. “On an average day in the Yusuf Batil camp … three or four children under the age of five will die,” but, “[i]n a ‘normal’ emergency situation, the number would be one or two deaths daily for every 10,000 children,” the news service writes. “The overall mortality rate, which takes into account adults and older children, is also substantially above the emergency threshold,” according to the Guardian, which adds, “About 58 percent of the camp’s reported deaths have been children under five, while more than 25 percent have been people over 50” (Copnall, 8/20).

“‘The number of children dying in Yida camp is appalling and the 1,200 children with severe acute malnutrition in MSF’s feeding program in Batil camp is just the tip of the iceberg,’ says Andre Heller-Perache, MSF Head of Mission,” according to an article on MSF’s webpage. “The majority of our patients in both camps are malnourished children who are further weakened when they contract diarrhea, malaria or respiratory infections,” Heller-Perache said, the article states. “The main medical aid provider in all four refugee camps in Upper Nile and Unity states, MSF is running a massive aid response,” the article adds, noting, “In Yida camp the number of hospital beds has just been doubled to allow treatment of the increasing number of seriously ill patients,” and, “across all four refugee camps in South Sudan, MSF has more than 180 international staff and is sending more reinforcements to cope with the massive health needs” (8/18).