2 October 2018

Sudan: Chikungunya Numbers Spike in Sudan's Kassala

Kassala — Government officials in Kassala report that 13,400 people have been infected with the mosquito-borne chikungunya fever on Sunday, an increase of 23 per cent in a week time.

The Kassala deputy-governor and the spokesman Majzoub Abu Musa Majzoub said that the number of cases, popularly known as Kankasha, has decreased in the locality west of Kassala. "But more cases remain in the eastern part of Kassala."

Kassala state government reported one week ago that 10,900 people were infected in the state during the past weeks, meaning there has been an increase of 23 per cent in the recorded number of cases in one week' time.

People on social media in Sudan have called on the masses hold a day to commemorate the victims of chikungunya in Kassala. Unverified numbers on these platforms suggest that more than 150 people have died from the disease.

A medical source told Radio Dabanga on Thursday that at least 40 people died of chikungunya fever in eastern Sudan's Kassala last week. Security officers stopped blood donated by people in El Gezira from reaching Kassala.

Memorandum

A number of committees and Members of Parliament from Kassala announced raising a memorandum to the speaker of the Legislative Council, to withhold confidence from state governor Adam Jamaa. They criticised the inaction by the state against the outbreak of chikungunya.

The memo has been released online and reads that the fever "has hit all people in Kassala, and is still killing them [... ] the state government had denied the disease and downplayed it."

Meanwhile the speaker of parliament said in Sudanese media that Sudan is being subjected "to psychological warfare through WatsApp [... ] by exaggerating any problems with lies, as happened with the chikungunya fevers in Kassala state".

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), most chikungunya patients recover fully within weeks, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the cause of death.

Over a week ago, health sources told Radio Dabanga that the number of patients admitted to health centres and private clinics in the eastern Sudanese state is still increasing. They complained that the Ministry of Health is distributing painkillers only.

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