26 December 2012

Sudan: New Yellow Fever Cases Registered in Central Darfur

Photo: Albert González Farran/UN
Hospital staff are inoculated against yellow fever before seeing patients (file photo).

Zalingei — The health minister of Central Darfur announced that new cases of yellow fever have been registered in the state, on Wednesday, 26 December.

However, Issa Mohamed Moussa Yousef explained that all patients come from the gold mining area of Jebel 'Amer, North Darfur, and stressed that Central Darfur has not recorded any new cases of the disease in more than two weeks.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, the minister disclosed that one person died of yellow fever in the Roakirro locality and that another five people are infected; four of them are hospitalized in Zalingei and the other is being treated in Wadi Saleh.

This brings the total yellow fever death toll to 83 and infection cases to 443, Yousef pointed out.

The minister said that vaccination campaigns have been completed in the localities of Mukjar and Bindissey and added that the third phase of the campaign is about to be finalized in the Umm Dukhum locality.

"End of yellow fever"

Ishaq Ahmed Yaqoub, health minister of West Darfur, announced the "end of yellow fever" in the state.

He spoke with Radio Dabanga from the state's capital, El-Geneina, and asserted that West Darfur has not recorded any new cases of yellow fever for three weeks.

Nevertheless, the minister expressed concern about other diseases affecting the population, such as diarrhea, bronchitis and viral hepatitis.

Alike in Central Darfur, Yaqoub suggested that most yellow fever cases are coming from Jebel 'Amer.

Third phase in South Darfur

In the meantime, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, minister of health of South Darfur, announced the launch of the third phase of the vaccination campaign in the state, which will incorporate the remaining localities in the state by the end of this month.

The minister explained to Radio Dabanga that the second phase of the campaign is scheduled to be completed by 27 December and that by then 70 percent of the localities should have been covered.

According to al-Tayyeb, a total of 20 people have died of yellow fever in South Darfur and 174 were infected. He pointed out these figures were collected more than two weeks ago.

When asked by Radio Dabanga about the emergence of new diseases in the state, the minister divulged that cases of typhoid, hepatitis and schistosomiasis (also known snail fever) have been registered in some places.

He stressed, however, that work in underway to deal with these newly emerging diseases.

"Silent killer"

Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, federal minister of health, acknowledged the outbreak of schistosomiasis in Sudan during a workshop entitled "Schistosomiasis: A Silent killer".

During the workshop he declared that 80 percent of the population of Sudan are vulnerable to contracting the disease.

The minister revealed that about two million people are infected with schistosomiasis in North Kordofan. According to him, this is the highest infection rate in the country, at 70 percent, followed by East and South Darfur, with 64 and 42 percent respectively.

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