1.5m cholera vaccines roll out in Sudan’s El Gedaref

Vaccines arrive in Port Sudan on November 14 (Photo: UNICEF)

El Dawim Emergency Room in White Nile state recorded one death and six new cases of cholera on Monday, bringing the cumulative number of deaths to 16 and cases to 163 in the state, as El Gedaref launched an oral cholera vaccination campaign.

The Director of El Gedaref Ministry of Health, Abdelnasser Hassan, announced that cholera vaccines will be distributed to six localities that have recorded cholera cases: Eastern and western Galabat, central and municipal El Gedaref, El Fashaga, and El Quraisha.

The campaign aims to vaccinate 1.5 million people. The Ministry stressed the need to target individuals to reduce the infection and death rates and continue other interventions to contain the disease.

The Ministry of Health also confirmed that 7,335 technical staff were distributed across 407 fixed sites, 1,758 temporary sites, and 210 mobile sites. It praised the participation of international organisations in the campaign.

2.2 million cholera and 7.5 million measles-rubella vaccines were airlifted to Port Sudan for distribution last week.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that 3.1 million people in Sudan are at risk of cholera in eight states between July and December 2023.

In a report on November 7, OCHA confirmed that Sudan declared a cholera outbreak in El Gedaref on September 26. As of November 9, at least 2,525 suspected cases of cholera, including 78 associated deaths, have been reported in 27 localities in six states across Sudan.

The director of the Environmental Health Department of the Health Ministry, Mohamed Daoud, attributed the spread of the disease to the lack of capabilities available to address and combat the disease, in addition to its spread in neighbouring states and the weak level of health care in the region.