22 February 2018

Sudan: Steady Rise in Central Darfur 'Watery Diarrhoea' Outbreak

Nierteti — Medical facilities in Nierteti locality in Central Darfur have continued to receive dozens of cases of acute watery diarrhoea suspected to be cholera. On Wednesday the isolation centres of Nierteti, Kuweila, and Mara received 17 new cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases to 137.

A voluntary work activist reported to Radio Dabanga that the isolation ward received five new cases, two from the northern displaced camp in Nierteti, two from west Jebel Marra and one from Nierteti districts, bringing the number to 56 cases.

He said there has been a steady rise in the incidences of the disease in Nierteti districts.

The activist appealed again to the humanitarian organisations and the government to accelerate intervention for the containment of the disease.

The volunteer reported that Kuweila isolation ward received seven cases of acute watery diarrhoea and pointed out that the total cases are 45. He said that Mara isolation ward received five cases making a total of 26 cases on Wednesday.

The volunteer revealed that a medical team from Khartoum arrived in Nierteti and immediately began to provide medication and treatment to the patients.

Minister of Health

The Minister of Health of Central Darfur, Mousa Khatir, acknowledged the death of seven people of 'acute watery diarrhoea' and the decrease in the number of infected from 92 to 52 cases.

He explained in a press statement the establishment of four isolation wards to receive the critical cases coming from the remote villages, namely Kuweila, Kodi, Gildo, and Karbal.

He pointed out to a meeting between his ministry and the state security committee to reach the areas difficult to reach due to security threats.

He said there had been contacts with the native administrations to inform the armed movements that they should be allowed to enter the unsafe areas to treat the patients, but they refused to do so.

In the past days sources reported to Radio Dabanga that at least 200 people are reportedly infected in the eatsern part of the locality. A source stated that the disease re-appeared in the area in early February. "It has spread among dozens of villages with about 12,000 inhabitants," he said. Eleven people reportedly died of the disease in a week's time.

Epidemic

In spite of numerous independent confirmations (conducted according to WHO standards) that the disease which broke out in Blue Nile State in August 2016 was cholera, the Sudanese authorities and several international organisations still call it 'Acute Watery Diarrhoea'.

The infectious disease spread to other eastern Sudan states, and later to northern and central Sudan. After it fully hit Khartoum in May last year, it spread to the western part of the country.

According to the WHO and the Sudanese Ministry of Health in mid-October 2017, the total number of reported cases across 18 states of Sudan reached more than 35,000 people - including 800 related deaths since the outbreak of the disease.

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