Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

Sudan: Darfuris - Yellow Fever Kills Five Every Day

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

Khartoum / Darfur — Residents from different areas from Central Darfur, the state most affected by the yellow fever epidemic, asserted that five people die every day as a result of the disease, they told Radio Dabanga on Tuesday, 13 November.

A native from Jebel Ahmer said that the statistics published by the government and health authorities from Sudan, indicating the decrease of deaths caused by yellow fever, do not reflect the reality.

He explained that the government of Sudan is sending out a false message by publishing inaccurate figures about the disease, adding that it did not yet send support of any kind to affected areas in Central Darfur.

The only thing the government did so far, the source continued, was to once spray Jebel Ahmer and Tulolo by plane.

He appealed to the government to immediately give international humanitarian organizations access to the affected areas so they can provide medication and vaccination to citizens.

Radio Dabanga spoke with residents from Jebel Ahmer, Tulolo, Abu Shalaya, Nertiti and Wadi Azem, Central Darfur.

Khartoum

Dr. Isam Mirghani, from the federal Ministry of Health in Khartoum announced in a press statement that 329 cases of yellow fever have been registered in Darfur by Tuesday. He added that 97 of the infected patients have died so far.

Mirghani stated that a vaccination campaign against yellow fever will be launched by medical teams in the five states of Darfur next weekend, when about 2.4 million doses of vaccine are expected to arrive in the region.

23 localities

The outbreak of yellow fever in Darfur has affected 23 localities in all five states, according to a report jointly released by the Sudanese federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 12 November.

The numbers of infected and fatal victims presented in the report correspond to the figures announced by the federal Ministry of Health above. Additionally, the case fatality rate (CFR) of the disease is suspected to be 29.5 percent.

According to the report, cases of yellow fever emerged in the following localities throughout Darfur: Zalengei, Nertity, Wadisalih, Azoom, Mukjer, Bendisi, Um Dukhun, Nyala, Kass, Kubum, Sharq Agabal, Yassin, Mershingm, Rehaid Albirdy, Genaina, Kernik, Baidha, Habila, Forbranga, Jabal Moun, Saraf Omra and Alseraif.

Central Darfur most affected

Central Darfur is the most affected state, with 69.9 percent of the yellow fever cases reported there, as explained in the document. It is followed by West Darfur (15.1), South Darfur (11.2), North Darfur (3.3) and East Darfur (0.3).

The most affected age group is between 15 and 29.9 years old (47.4 percent of the cases), as claimed in the report.

Blood samples

According to the document, blood samples from 23 percent of the reported cases were sent to RT-PCR, at the Central Public Health Laboratory in Khartoum. The results showed that 11 samples tested positive for yellow fever.

Out of the positive results, two samples came from Nertiti and Wadi Salih locality, Central Darfur; one sample came from each Zalingei, Central Darfur, and El-Geneima, Habila and Kernik, West Darfur; and three positive samples came from Kass locality, South Darfur.

In addition, as previously reported by Radio Dabanga, seven blood samples were sent to the Institute Pasteur in Senegal, the WHO reference laboratory for Yellow Fever, it was stated. According to the 'preliminary' results, two of the samples tested positive for yellow fever and confirmatory tests are pending.

Vaccination

It was announced in the report that 3.6 million people in the affected areas, above the age of nine months, will be vaccinated in Darfur.

The federal Ministry of Health has sent technical support teams to Central, South and West Darfur to conduct 'entomological surveys' and to set up blood bank units in El-Geneima, Nyala and Zalingei, according to the document.

Lastly, the report recommended that the testing of patients from 'newly affected localities should continue' and that control initiatives should continue for at least 10 days after the start of the vaccination campaign.

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InFocus

First Case of Deadly Fever in Sudan's Capital

Getting a check-up (file photo).

Khartoum has reported its first case of yellow fever, the same disease that continues to infect and kill scores in Darfur. Read more »