Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

23 August 2013

Sudan: 'At Least Two Children Die Per Day' in South Darfur Camp

South Darfur — The spread of diseases in South Darfur's Attash camp, along with shortage of health care facilities and medicines, is "killing between two and four children every day" at the site, a sheikh says.

Mainly the newly displaced are affected, the sheikh added, stressing that many children are suffering of malnutrition at the camp.

"The high incidence of deaths among children is scary," Attash's sheikh told Radio Dabanga.

Last week, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan, Mark Cutts, stated that the overall level of malnutrition throughout Sudan is higher than the emergency threshold considered by the World Health Organisation.

In Marshang camp, South Darfur, displaced are also worried about the high mortality rates and the spread of illnesses such as malaria, conjunctivitis, and skin diseases, which they described as "serious".

"Diseases began to appear in July and most deaths occurred in August. Conjunctivitis is especially affecting children and skin diseases are prominent among adults too," the sheikh told Radio Dabanga.

He disclosed that the area has only two health centres "for more than 70,000 people living in camps and nearby villages."

The sheikh is asking health authorities and humanitarian organisations to provide medicine, build new health centres, and cover pools of stagnant water.

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