10 November 2012

Sudan: Yellow Fever Arrives in Khartoum

Photo: Louise Roland-Gosselin/ Médecins Sans Frontières
Getting a check-up (file photo).

Khartoum — The Minister of Health from the state of Khartoum revealed the emergence of the first case of yellow fever in the capital of Sudan, according to a press statement from Thursday, 8 November.

Minister Mamoun Hamida said this is the same type of fever that has been spreading in Darfur.

Hamida explained that the infected patient has been isolated and will be submitted to health care. He advised citizens from Khartoum to use mosquito nets to prevent the disease.

The press statement also read that a vaccination campaign against yellow fever will be launched in Khartoum. In addition, the government will reportedly distribute 150 mosquito nets in areas where most mosquitoes are found and it will monitor the movement of people traveling out of Sudan, who will be obliged to get vaccinated in health centers.

The Sudanese Council of Ministers appealed that citizens restrict their movement to the affected areas, as the disease is contagious and spreads by mosquitoes.

At the same time, the Chairperson of the Committee on Health and Social Affairs of the parliament, Amira al-Sir, announced that airplanes coming from Darfur to Khartoum will be sprayed with pesticide.

Central Darfur

According to a coordinator of Hamidiya camp in Zalingei, Central Darfur, local citizens are complaining about the lack of vaccinations and the lack of treatment against the yellow fever.

They are also discontent with the lack of health education provided by the government concerning information about the disease and how to prevent it.

Citizens claimed that the governments of the Darfur states cannot take measures against the disease as the federal government is 'keeping everybody in the dark' about it. In addition, they said, doctors, specialists and states' ministers are prevented from releasing information about it to the media.

Darfur citizens demanded that the government declares the region a 'disaster zone' and described its actions as 'criminal'.

Central Darfur residents confirmed to Radio Dabanga that both the local and federal ministries of health have not yet launched spraying campaigns or began the distribution of mosquito nets.

Locals accused the government of Sudan of ignoring the spread of the disease, which firstly appeared in the region two months ago. They said this confirms the lack of morality and responsibility of the government towards the citizens of Darfur, the rest of the states of Sudan and the marginalized in general.

Civilians appealed to the World Health Organization to immediately intervene in the situation. They also demanded that the government of Sudan lifts movements' restrictions in Darfur so that humanitarian organizations can reach the affected areas.

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