from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – THE death of 35 people following an outbreak of cholera is the latest crisis to batter war-torn Sudan.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed the deaths from 817 cases.
The toll and caseload could be higher, considering the figures are as of September 29.
Sudan declared an outbreak of the water borne disease three days earlier, in Gedaref State.
Since then, there have been 307 cases and 19 deaths in Gedaref, 400 cases and eight deaths in South Kordofan and 110 cases and eight deaths in Khartoum.
Increased cases of acute watery diarrhoea have also been reported in Khartoum and South Kordofan states.
WHO is supporting the response to the outbreak through coordination, expert advice, training and capacity building, transporting samples for confirmation and provision of equipment and supplies.
A spokesperson said the organisation had also initiated plans to request for oral cholera vaccines from the International Coordinating Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision to protect the population in order to contain the outbreak.
Other disease outbreaks are ongoing in several states, with 12 states reporting measles cases and deaths.
An equal number of states are reporting malaria cases and associated deaths.
Some six states are reporting cases of dengue with associated deaths.
Fighting is ongoing in affected states since the conflict broke out in April.
“Insecurity, displacement, limited access to medicines, medical supplies, electricity and water continue to pose enormous challenges to the delivery of health care across the entire country,” a WHO spokesperson said.
Sudan has 18 states.
The states of Khartoum, West, Central and South Darfur as well as North and South Kordofan are the most impacted by the conflict.
“States not directly affected by the war are receiving displaced people, hence the strain on health care and other services,” the spokesperson said.
More than 5,5 million people have been newly displaced due to war.
This is in addition to 3,7 million people that were internally displaced prior to the conflict.
Malnutrition is on the rise across the country. The displacement and lack of access to food due to the war is occurring on top of an existing hunger crisis caused by prolonged drought.
Since April 15 when the conflict began, WHO has verified 56 attacks on healthcare facilities resulting in 11 deaths and 38 injuries.
Attacks on health care include incidents involving hospitals, ambulances, laboratories, warehouses, health workers and patients.
“WHO condemns in the strongest terms the increasing attacks on health care in Sudan,” the agency stated.
– CAJ News