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Cholera continues to claim lives in Sudan’s White Nile

May 21 - 2017 EL GEZIRA ABA
A ward in Kosti Hospital in White Nile state (seesudan.wordpress.com)
A ward in Kosti Hospital in White Nile state (seesudan.wordpress.com)

At least 11 people died of cholera and 31 new cases were recorded in White Nile state last week. In neighbouring Sennar the number of patients is rising again.

Abdelrahman El Siddig, the head of civil society organisations in White Nile, told Radio Dabanga that one patient died in Taksaboun village in El Gezira Aba on Wednesday.

“Seven others died in the nearby Asalaya village on Wednesday and Thursday, and three people in Abushibeika village, south of Ed Dom, on Thursday,” he reported.

“Five new patients have been transferred to El Gezira Aba hospital which has an isolation centre. One of the patients came from Asalaya, and four from the northern area of El Gezira Aba, from El Malaha and El Shawal. On Thursday, another 18 new cases were recorded in Asalaya.”

El Siddig added that the El Gezira Aba hospital admitted eight new cases on Thursday and Friday, while Rabak hospital has not received any new case last week.

State Governor Abdelhameed Mousa Kasha reported the death of more than 20 people from “acute watery diarrhoea” and infection of 1,000 others. He acknowledged the state's inability to provide safe drinking water.

Sennar

In the neighbouring state of Sennar, three cholera patients died in the Abuareef health centre last week. Three new cases were reported in El Mazmum, a listener told Radio Dabanga on Friday.

He said the number of people infected with cholera in the locality is increasing again since early May.

‘Watery diarrhoea’

Medical sources have accused the authorities of hiding the real numbers. They told this station that thousands of people have been infected with cholera in the country. The death toll has climbed into the hundreds.

In September last year, Radio Dabanga received reports about people stricken by “acute watery diarrhoea” in Blue Nile state. Since then the deadly disease spread to other localities in eastern, central, and northern Sudan. In March and April, almost all reports about cholera came from El Gedaref in eastern Sudan.

Though Sudanese medics have confirmed that the disease concerns cholera, federal health authorities continue to deny its presence, and have instructed all medics and health workers to speak about watery diarrhoea instead. In April, a journalist was detained in eastern Sudan for reporting about cholera.

Cholera “seems to be a stigma for the government. However raising the awareness among communities about preventing cholera is crucial to containing a cholera outbreak,” a UK-based Sudanese specialist told Radio Dabanga in January. He said he fears that the current situation will turn into a long-lasting outbreak.


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