Kassala — Thousands of people in Kassala took to the streets on Thursday demanding the dismissal of the state Minister of Health Noureldin Hasan, the Commissioner of Kassala locality Jaafar Aboud, and six other officials.
The protesters denounced "the complacency" of Kassala's Ministry of Health and the locality authorities in the fight against dengue fever. The demonstrators raised pictures of child victims of the fast spreading disease in the region, and held banners calling for the dismissal of the officials.
The demonstration marched from Kassala Grand Market to the government secretariat, the Ministry of Health, the offices of Kassala locality, shouting slogans demanding the dismissal of the state's Health Minister, the director of the department of Preventive Medicines, the Commissioner of Kassala locality, and the directors of the departments of Services, Revenues, and Waste of the locality.
The demonstrators submitted a memo to the acting governor of Kassala, who promised to respond within 48 hours.
"Not that high"
The head of the Emergency Department of the federal Ministry of Health, Babikir El Magboul, described the incidence of dengue fever in Kassala state as "not that high", claiming it did not constitute an epidemic. He reported 38 new cases of dengue fever in Kassala during the past week.
He also confirmed the presence of dengue fever in the area of Arbaat in Red Sea state and Bara in River Nile state.
Former gas market
The demonstrators in Kassala also protested against the sale by the Kassala state government of the former gas market in the west of Kassala City to a private investor. After a vigil two weeks ago, this sale was postponed, but not terminated. The demonstrators claim that the sale is not transparent and that the state government is not elected and therefore does not have the right to sell.
In East Darfur, health director Feisal Ashmeig reported cases of haemorrhagic fever in the state capital El Daein. He said random samples were taken from 15 people, four of whom tested positive on haemorrhagic fever.
He said that the East Darfur health authorities are developing necessary precautions and preventive measures to combat the disease.