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How is South Sudan preparing for the Ebola Virus?

By Dr. Peter Kopling,MD

September 4, 2014 (SSNA) -- Ebola virus is among the 30 known viruses capable of causing bleeding fever attacks. The genus Ebolavirus is currently classified into 5 separate species: Sudan ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, Tai Forest (Ivory Coast) ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus, and Bundibugyo Ebolavirus.

What made me write this piece is our region had a run with this deadly virus before, indeed the Sudan ebolavirus is perhaps to be called, South Sudan ebolavirus, because in the former Sudan, the ground zero was in our territories! Thus it is imperative that we raise awareness of this deadly virus sweeping through West Africa. This is one condition we do not want to wait until it punches us but rather the people must be actively made aware of how to prevent this from entering our country and be aware of the signs and symptoms of this deadly virus! The environment is ripped in our country and it will have a devastating effect if this was allowed to reach our already-ravaged country, which has no capabilities to handle such a disease! The question then is how is South Sudan preparing itself and her people? As we can see, as far away is America from West Africa, they now have registered their first case and will not be the last! Must we sleep until we are surprised awake by this deadly virus?

Below is some basic awareness everyone should have about Ebola Virus.

The primary host of this virus seems to be the fruit bats, which passes it to the Monkeys and chimpanzees! The eating or handling of Monkeys leads to this virus jumping to humans thus people must not eat Monkeys and their related kin!

The following 2 types of exposure history are recognized:

  • Primary exposure – This typically involves travel to or works in an Ebola-endemic area.
  • Secondary exposure – This refers to human-to-human exposure (e.g., medical caregivers, family caregivers, or persons who prepared deceased patients for burial), primate-to-human exposure (e.g., animal care workers who provide care for primates), or persons who collect or prepare bush meat for human consumption.

Modes of transmission:

An infected person who does not have symptoms, not necessarily can pass the virus to others but a person who is Vomiting, having diarrhea or bleeding from any parts of his body, essentially this person is passing the infection through any body liquid that comes out of him/her to include saliva.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Physical findings depend on the stage of disease at the time of presentation. There is an incubation period (time it takes to multiply in the body before causing illness typically 3-8 days in primary cases and slightly longer in secondary cases).

Early findings may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Sore throats
  • Severe constitutional signs and symptoms (just feeling terrible, unwell)
  • May see skin rashes.
  • Both eyes may become red.

Later findings may include the following:

  • Expressionless facies (Persons displays no emotions).
  • Bleeding from intravenous (IV) puncture sites and mucous membranes, like mouth and anus.
  • Myocarditis and pulmonary edema (Inflamation in the heart muscles and water in the lungs)
  • In terminally ill patients, rapid heartbeats, low blood pressures, thus lightheadedness, inability to make urine and to  urinate, and coma and death.

Survivors of Ebola virus disease have developed the following late manifestations:

  • Myalgias (Muscle aches).
  • Asymmetric and migratory arthralgias (alternating joint pains).
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Bulimia (eating disorders)
  • Amenorrhea (Absence of menstrual periods)
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Unilateral orchitis (One sided testicular swelling or pain)
  • Suppurative parotitis (one side of the jaw near the ear becoming swollen due to bacterial infections)

Management:

  • Supportive therapy with attention to intravascular volume, electrolytes, nutrition, and comfort care is of benefit to the patient; this to be done only by trained health care provider which we terribly lack in our country.
  • Such therapy must be administered with strict attention to barrier isolation; all body fluids contain infectious virions and should be handled with great care only by healthcare professionals.
  • No specific therapy is available that has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, essentially most if not all deadly.
  • There are no commercially available Ebola vaccines;
  • At present, no specific anti-Ebolavirus agents are available. In those patients who do recover, recovery often requires months, and delays may be expected before full resumption of normal activities. Weight gain and return of strength are slow. Ebola virus continues to be present for many weeks after resolution of the clinical illness.

Recommendations:

Anyone who presents with diarrhea vomits and or with bleedings should alert the authority very quickly and do not handle the bodily liquids and when such a person dies the body must not be transported for burials from one town or village to another. Even if it is not Ebola, it could be Cholera. In other words before you go for a funeral ask what the person die of, If diarrhea, vomits and or bleeding is involved then relatives must be kept away. Mourners must not surround such dead bodies as is customary. Such dead body must not be touched and left for the authorities to burry speedily! Those exposed should not return to the families and isolate themselves where possible for at least 10 days.

Given our country is home to many foreigners coming and going, not only Africans but also Europeans and Americans who may be working for Medical team that fights the deadly disease in West Africa, the Virus may come through them! The health officials at the airport must screen for not only African but also Europeans and Americans! The attentions must not be solely at the airport but also boarder entries like Nimule etc.

Our healthcare setting and capabilities are Zero, the authorities must be vigilant indeed should consider not allowing entry to those coming from Ebola region! In addition Monkey eating must be discouraged. In our case prevention is better cure, where none exists and poor health care and sanitary facilities this is even more so! We must be preemptive! If the world does not arrest this in West Africa, which is just a country or two away from us, it is then a matter not if but when this deadly virus with terrible consequences hits us!

Dr Peter Kopling Josep, MD, lives in the Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Mr. Salva Kiir: Take ownership of the Nuer genocide!

By: Luk Kuth Dak

September 5, 2014 (SSNA) -- Most South Sudanese at one point or another have experienced the evil of violence during the course of their lives, but the December, the 15th, 2013 undeniable genocide of the an apolitical Nuer people, in the hands of the disgraced President of the republic of South Sudan, Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit will go down in human history as one of the most brutal act of evil, against innocent and unarmed civilians!

Almost a year later, not a single person has been brought to justice for the massacre, which has sicken the world by viewing the gruesome images of the unburied dead in the streets of the capital, Juba and other towns and cities across the country.

Emphatically, Mr. Kiir will never take ownership of the genocide. In fact, he doesn’t even want to talk about it, or show any kind of a fake remorse; instead, he’s barricaded himself with some Nuer worshipers of the likes of Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Health Minister, Shiek Riek Gai Kok, my brother -in-law, Mr. Philip Ruach Chan, and of course, the Jieeng golden boy, Mr. Gordon Buay. On numerous occasions, the later assured the President of his greatness!! “You’re the best leader the world has ever seen,” he was quoted as telling a prepaid hand-picked crowd at Kiir’s arrival at the UN General Assembly in New York. Seriously! I have never thought that Mr. Kiir and “greatness” could ever meet in one sentence.

If the Gallup polls were conducted in South Sudan today, they will indicate that an overwhelming majority of the South Sudanese, particularly among none Dinka, disapprove of Kiir’s performance as President. But since he won the presidential election, chances are that some of those who now disapprove of what he has done voted to put him in office. We all make mistakes, but the burning question is whether we learn from them.

With many Jieeng (Dinka) intellectuals now acting as if it is no time for a none Jieeng to become the leader of our nation, apparently they have learned absolutely nothing from what let to the division of South Sudan in 1983, better known as “Kokora” and, the current disastrous results of choosing a president of South Sudan on the basis of tribal background, instead of individual qualifications, all of which Kirr has none.

More than anyone else in South Sudan, the Jieeng have everything to lose and absolutely nothing to gain by destroying the nation. They are, after all, the beneficiaries of the nation’s wealth. Under this corrupt regime, the wealth gap between Jieeng and the rest of the country had grown to its widest in favor of Jieeng. So why are they shooting themselves in the foot?

To the majority of the Jieeng intellectuals, it means that criticism of Mr. Kiir is considered to be a sign of being against the Jieeng as a whole, which is a total nonsense. I have been accused of being a “Jieeng hater” for simply calling for a new leadership. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it would not matter to me if the next ten Presidents of South Sudan in a row were Jieeng, if these happened to be the best individuals at the time. But to suggest that Mr. Kiir is irreplaceable after a decade long and counting in office is to say that we are willfully blind to the dangers of putting life-and-death decisions in the hands of someone chosen for tribal reasons.

Bluntly stated, it is by no means possible that South Sudan will survive the long-run consequences of the disastrous decisions already made by Mr. Kiir, especially the cold-blooded massacre of the Naath people on December, the 15th.

Today, the Naath people are standing all alone in an island of despair. The UN won’t protect them from Kiir’s brutality. The US and the European Union won’t protect them either, instead they clutching arms with the murderer, Mr. Salva Kiir. So the question is who will protect the Naath from the eminent danger of Kiir’s savage regime?

The simple answer is: the Naath themselves.

If the Naath wake up in some morning and find out that some of their people have been murdered by the regime, don’t blame the world, it will be because you earned it.

Luk Kuth Dak is an independent columnist/writer. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Is Dr. Elia Lomuro an oriented adversary of Federal Democratic Republic of South Sudan?

By: Bol Khan Rom

September 30, 2014 (SSNA) -- The present South Sudan’s Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro, is an arch enemy of Federal Democratic Republic of South Sudan (FDRSS). He is a motivated opponent of the proposed Reforms, the reforms which shall lead our nation to permanent sustainable peace and development. Dr. Lomuro is purposely deployed to talks against proven and accepted system of governance anonymously approved by majority of South Sudanese people. Speaking to reporters at the closing session of the seventh speakers’ forum on 25 September 2014, Martin Elia Lomuro, said any move to replace the current system of government is unacceptable and must be fought up to the last man. The author read Dr. Martin’s rhetoric statement in Sudan Tribune online news web. Previously, I always do hear him, Elia, very much favors John Luk’s constitution that gave him a ministry, on purpose, in the kitchen Cabinet against the reforms if not against the betterment of the whole nation.

“Our objective in fighting this war is simple and has been clearly stated from day one and it will remain so. Our objective is to maintain the leadership and very unitary system of the current Juba’s Government. This government was democratically elected by the people of this country,” said Lomuro. Does Hon. Elia mean the business? Contrary, the John Locke’s Document Elia purposely supports, in article 4 (2), however, Refers the present Government headed by Benydit Kiir as “Constitutional Government not an elected Government” Is Hon. Minister familiar with this article? Even the drafter, John Luk, disowned it and calls it a repealed constitution.

Dr. Elia further lamented that, calls for Federal Democratic Republic of South Sudan or reforms are carrying tribal agenda. If these calls for a pro-democratic reform government was motivated by a tribal or carrying tribal agenda. Then, why was it anonymously approved countrywide? I am not a member of any SPLM factions; however, I can read, hear and know which faction is struggling for public or South Sudanese people’s interests. Federalism won’t allow the struggling tribe to impose its tribal agenda, if it has any, on Eastern Equatorians or Awielians. That was why, we saw Equatorians in big numbers on the streets anonymously welcoming the proposals. Do Equatorians have tribal agenda? Do Bahr El Gahzalians who went onto streets as well have tribal agenda? Do others Upper Nileians who did the same have also tribal agenda? In Public Administration I studied, all public figures—politicians measure their popularities through political programs they have for public consumption. How the ordinary citizens react or welcome political ideologies from political parties or politicians individually. An ethnic origin of politicians is less consider. Rather political programs of each and every Leader in any country are the ones matter. Can South Sudanese people’s demand brought up by their son and Father be considered tribal? The demand for Federal Democratic and reformed Republic of South Sudan (FDRSS)! I don’t think so.

However, we are all aware that in Africa most of the groups are too venerable to say no and defend their interests. You can find such groups clandestinely and orally support reforms in hearts but soft in action against dictators that impose fatal rules. Those groups do pretend and say “We are peaceful people who choose an amicable solution to the problem”. Though, they are being killed. If the former is the case, then let the world know! Do African’s dictators forgive them—the easily entangled and scared individuals or groups? Definitely, NO! Instead, the dictators do round up helpless citizens they find and brutally tortured them to the end, so that they give up hearts supports for reforms. Do dictators agree to and implement political programs that haven’t an armed threat behind? I doubt. Whatever political programs you orally bring forward and how much words or greater orator you are, all can be nothing to dictators but finally damped underground. They have tried it in the SPLM and we subsequently saw most of them (SPLM’s Leaders) ended up in jail. As we see it now, any attempt to resist the proven popular need for reforms and for FDRSS must be a move to blocks efforts that are being sought both internationally and nationally to restore peace and feasible stability in the country.

Logically speaking, Dr. Lomuro should clearly tell the nation why resistance against reforms and FDRSS is so important to him. Otherwise, he can be seen as a person who is set to preach individual—tribal agenda himself. Instead he should be one of the leaders in negotiations forefront in Ethiopia to push for reforms. For instance, let’s take the case of hard currency being sold in black market in Juba. Can Dr. Lomuro tell me that there is no need for reform inside there, given the tribal policy installed in distributing the Dollars for black market? Imagine, in Juba market nowadays or in Central Bank premise people talk to International fiscal Organizations’ Managers in local language. Yet everybody understands what a fresh villager young boys & girls of 10 years old want. Why only members of particular South Sudanese community have 24hrs access to dollars? Neither in Arabic nor in English they communicate and sell dollars in black market. However, young people from Yambio, Kajo-keji and Kapoita for instance who could fluently communicate best with International people in English have no access at all. What is that happening there? Dr. Martin, as a powerful Minister of Cabinet Affairs, does he know this? If yes, isn’t reforms required, in this particular area also?

Therefore, I think the intention behind Lomuro’s expression isn’t of public interest, but may be of his own party interest. Or he might have been directed, who knows, to speak so! Mr. Thomas Jefferson, rightly put it “The Tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”; unless, government officials remain genuine servants of the people. That all people were created equal “The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” had given every person a set of rights that could not be legally alienated, and that among those rights were “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.

Hence, Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro should answer aforementioned question of whether or not he is a politically oriented opponent of Federal Democratic Republic of South Sudan (FDRSS). Otherwise I ask the Juba Government in which he is a Cabinet Minister, to let my people—South Sudanese people pursuit their Happiness. The Federal Democratic Peaceful Republic of South Sudan!!

The author is a South Sudanese commentator; he is on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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