from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – THE outbreak of a number of diseases nationwide in Sudan is putting to the test a health sector threatened with collapse by a nearly six-month old conflict.
Authorities have confirmed outbreaks of measles, malaria, dengue fever and cholera, which have left scores dead.
These outbreaks come as more than 70 percent of health facilities in states affected by conflict are not working, resulting in extremely limited – and sometimes no – access to health care for millions of people.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports 4 123 suspected measles cases with 107 associated deaths across 12 of Sudan’s 18 states.
The largest number of suspected measles cases has been reported in White Nile, with 3 117 cases and 98 associated deaths as of 22 September. Some 736 507 clinical malaria cases and 22 associated deaths are reported across 12 states.
Suspected dengue fever cases have reached 4 097 with 13 associated deaths.
Suspected cholera cases have been reported in three states, with 817 cases and 35 associated deaths.
Acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) cases have also been registered in the capital, Khartoum, and South Kordofan.
“Still, limited access and the inability to send samples to laboratories have prevented authorities from confirming if it is cholera,” said a WHO spokesperson.
The number of cases and deaths mentioned above are likely to be higher, considering the figures are as of the end of September.
The Sudan Ministry of Health reports that 1 265 people have been killed and 8 396 injured due to the fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
“This is based on reports received from health facilities, but the actual number of casualties is likely much higher,” the WHO spokesperson warned.
Fighting erupted in mid-April.
About 5,5 million people have fled their homes and sought refuge within Sudan or in neighbouring countries.
– CAJ News