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Civil Unrest Creates Serious Health Implications In South Sudan

BMJ reports on the health affects of civil unrest in South Sudan, which will become the world’s newest country on July 9.

“Decades of war, neglect, and lack of development have left 9 out of 10 women illiterate, and the nascent state has among the world’s highest rates of maternal and infant mortality and remains a reservoir for many neglected tropical diseases such as leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, and guinea worm,” the journal writes. In addition, humanitarian efforts have been hampered by continued violence and landmines, child health is threatened by lack of access to food, water and immunization, and small scale studies suggest an increase in HIV prevalence “thought to be linked to the return of refugees and internally displaced people, combined with increased cross border travel for trade,” according to BMJ (Moszynski, 6/15).

Participants at a recent workshop held by the Unity State’s HIV/AIDS commission heard Tuesday “that HIV/AIDS may prove to be more devastating to South Sudan than the civil war that led to the death of around two million people,” BENTIU/Sudan Tribune reports (Kuich, 6/14).