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Blue Nile counts more deaths by 'watery diarrhoea'

September 16 - 2016 ED DAMAZIN
A medical ward in Blue Nile, Sudan, where patients with watery diarrhoea receive treatment (received through Radio Dabanga WhatsApp on 15-09-2016)
A medical ward in Blue Nile, Sudan, where patients with watery diarrhoea receive treatment (received through Radio Dabanga WhatsApp on 15-09-2016)

The death toll in Blue Nile has risen to 17 people as a result of acute watery diarrhoea. The federal Health Ministry reported the increase of cases in Blue Nile, Kassala and River Nile. The first samples of patients are being examined for cholera.

Medical sources said that the number of infected people is still not known as hospitals and various state medical centres have been receiving dozens of patients. This has made the hospital wards overcrowded, while the majority of the infected have no beds or place in the hospitals to stay.

Dr. Walid Mirein, the internal section medicine doctor at Ed Damazin hospital, the capital of Blue Nile state, told Radio Dabanga that his section has received 16 cases on Thursday alone. He said that the death toll amounted to 7 patients. 34 have received treatment.

Mirein believes that the spread of the disease is larger in Roseires locality, which is east of the state capital, than in Ed Damazin. The doctor attributed the high prevalence of the disease to the contamination of meat, vegetables and drinking water.

He praised the recent actions in his hospital to isolate the infected in a special ward and task doctors and nurses with their care. “This has helped to reduce the number of deaths. One person died in the past four days.

“But the authorities should provide free medical examination of the patients, and accelerate the diagnosis of the disease so as to contain it.”

Death toll rises

The federal Health Ministry stated that the death toll has risen to 17 people. 416 people have been infected: at a rate of 1.2 per every 100,000 people. The disease broke out in the third week of August.

The ministry acknowledged in its statement that there is an increase in diarrhoea incidences in the three states of Kassala, Blue Nile and River Nile, but did not refer to the nature of the diarrhoea, nor mentioned an outbreak of cholera.

A visit paid by the Undersecretary of the federal Ministry of Health, Essam Eldin Mohamed Abdallah, to Blue Nile and Sennar on Wednesday, resulted in his confirmation that the number of diarrhoea cases is higher in Blue Nile than in Sennar. And so the efforts of the ministry continue in Blue Nile, to control those cases, he said.

Meanwhile the state Minister of Health in Sennar, Mohamed Abdelgader El Mamoun, said that the hospitals have received people from villages in Sennar who suffer from an infection with watery diarrhoea. He did not specify their number.

“Most patients are from Blue Nile,” he confirmed earlier reports. Samples of the patients have been sent to be examined in Khartoum.

Earlier this week, tests conducted by the Health Ministry of Blue Nile have proved that the watery diarrhoea disease is caused by bacteria.

'I hope the school holiday period will be extended to prevent the disease from spreading.'

Bad health situation

Residents of Blue Nile have complained to Radio Dabanga about the ambiguity of the health situation, as well as the conflicting medical reports. They criticised the government's statements about the disease, whether it is cholera or watery diarrhoea.

A listener explained that the deployment of medical teams and the disinfection and chlorination of potable water have led to the reduction of the mortality rate. “It has helped to control the outbreak of infections.”

The listener hopes that the government authorities will extend the school holiday period, in an attempt to further control the the infections.


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