El Gedaref in eastern Sudan is witnessing an increase in dengue fever* infections, with 70 confirmed cases and two deaths reported last week alone. The El Gedaref state government announced the start of a house-to-house campaign to combat the spread of the infection.
Health sources told Radio Dabanga that cases are spreading in nearly all homes in El Gedaref city, in addition to the displaced people in shelter centres. Infections are typically accompanied by widespread cases of malaria and diarrhoea.
Adam Hasan, staff member of the El Gedaref Teaching Hospital, told Radio Dabanga that the number of displaced people exceeds 9,000, distributed among 48 shelter centres.
The spread of dengue fever and the lack of food is gradually worsening the dire humanitarian and health crises faced by displaced people
"Ten of the shelter centres are not registered with official authorities and thus do not receive quotas of aid," Adam Hasan continued. "The displaced suffer from irregular distribution of food aid provided by UN agencies and humanitarian organisations, with high prices of goods."
According to sources, their plight is heightened by the deterioration of the environmental and health situation at the hospital, the lack of blood analysis strips, and a shortage of medicines.
Hasan stressed that the local community and charitable organizations are collecting and distributing aid to make up for the scarcity of provisions.
He remarked: "About 40,000 bottles of juice were distributed to the centres on Saturday, under the supervision of the emergency room".
On Saturday, the Federal Humanitarian Emergency Committee announced a review of the criteria for various state quotas by studying the displacement rate in proportion to the population.
Similarly, the Emergency Health Department in Um Ruwaba locality in North Kordofan detained two cases of dengue fever in the isolation ward for infectious diseases after local tests confirmed that the cases were positive.
Yasir Badawi, director of the Health Emergency Department in Um Ruwaba, said that one case arrived from the Abu Karshola area in South Kordofan, and the other from the Um Kheir in area northeast of Um Ruwaba.
The Director General of the Ministry of Health in North Kordofan, El Fatih Nour, denied the presence of other cases of dengue fever aside from the two in Um Ruwaba. Nour stated that "the two cases remain in a state of suspicion until the final announcement of results by the state's regional laboratory".
* Dengue (aka break-bone fever) is a viral infection that spreads from mosquitoes to people. It is more common in tropical and subtropical climates. Most people who get dengue won't have symptoms. But for those that do, the most common symptoms are high fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and rash. (Source: World Health Organization)