11 September 2017

Sudan: 'Diarrhoea Epidemic Under Control' - Sudan Health Minister

Darfur / South Kordofan / Sennar — According to the Sudanese Minister of Health, the spread of cholera -which the government continues to call acute watery diarrhoea- is under control. Two people died of the infectious disease and nearly 50 new cases were reported in the country over the weekend.

Health Minister Bahar Idris Abugarda visited Nyala, capital of South Darfur, and neighbouring Kass on Saturday.

He told the press in Nyala that the situation in Sudan in general has improved. No new cases were recorded in six states in the past few days. Other states reported three to four new patients, including South Darfur, where the number of new cases dropped in Nyala, Kass, and East Jebel Marra.

The Minister pledged to exert all efforts to combat the acute watery diarrhoea epidemic by providing health services, cadres, and equipment.

He explained that the disease is related to polluted drinking water and a lack of hygiene, and stressed the importance of washing the hands with soap and water, and the need of continuous awareness raising.

In June, Abugarda told the Health Ministers of Sudan's 18 states during an emergency meeting in Khartoum that the outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea could grow into an epidemic in the country.

The National Epidemiological Corporation reported in July that nearly 24,000 Sudanese have been infected and 940 cholera patients have died since the outbreak of the infectious disease in Blue Nile state in August last year.

The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has repeatedly warned medics and the press in the country not to make mention of cholera. The mentioning of the disease's real name "seems to be a stigma for the government," a Sudanese specialist told Radio Dabanga in January.

Deaths, new cases in Darfur

One patient died of cholera in Nierteti on Saturday, a volunteer told Radio Dabanga.

The isolation centre in the small Central Darfur town received two cholera patients from the area of Guldo in Jebel Marra on Saturday. Five other patients were admitted on Sunday, bringing the number of patients in the centre to 12.

In the Zamzam camp for the displaced, south of El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, one cholera patient died on Friday. On the same day, six new cases were recorded.

Five of them are children, a Zamzam camp sheikh told this station. He said that the patients were transferred to El Fasher Hospital because of the closure of the isolation unit at the camp.

South Kordofan

In El Abbasiya in South Kordofan, 13 new cases were recorded on Saturday and Sunday.

The isolation centre in El Tabasa, north of El Abbasiya town, received five new cases on Saturday, a medical source reported.

The disease is spreading fast in the villages of Salamat, El Lubana and Magteea, west of El Tabasa, he said.

The village of Kamasro, west of El Tabasa, admitted eight cholera patients at its centre on Sunday. The centre that was opened on Saturday is now treating 10 people.

Sennar

Singa Hospital in Sennar received 10 new cases of cholera over the weekend. Two of them are from El Dindir, one from El Rimash and the others come from the state capital Singa itself.

He added that the isolation centre in Um Shoka, north of Singa, admitted two new cholera patients on Sunday.

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