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Cholera spreads in northern Sudan

August 8 - 2017 HALFA / DELGO
Making new beds for cholera patients, July 2017 (Twitter)
Making new beds for cholera patients, July 2017 (Twitter)

Cholera has extended to the north of Sudan and reached Abri in Halfa locality, where four cases were reported on Monday. A hospital recorded more infected cases coming from the gold mines in Northern State.

The patients are treated in the isolation ward placed outside of the health centre of Abri, a town along the Nile.

Five cases are being treated in Wadi Halfa hospital in Northern State, a source reported to Radio Dabanga yesterday.

Also in El Mahas in Delgo locality, five people suffering from cholera reported to the health centre on Monday, bringing to the total number of infections the centre has seen to 70.

Mining areas

Activist Wael El Imam told Radio Dabanga that the five new patients are all miners who work in the traditional gold mining sector in Dalgo. One patient, a miner, succumbed to cholera on Saturday in the hospital where a room has functioned as isolation space since last Thursday.

People in Delgo have continued to call upon the authorities to establish the cholera isolation ward outside of Delgo and in the mining areas, in fear of a growing rate of infections among residents. They threatened to prevent miners from entering Delgo. “Authorities have not yet responded to them,” El Imam said.

Last week, activist Adham Nasir told Radio Dabanga that the hospital in Delgo received 34 new cases of cholera on Thursday, raising the total number of infected cases in the ward to 77. Most of the patients are reportedly miners.

Funding from ministry

In Khartoum, First Vice-President and Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh instructed the Ministry of Finance and the Income Allocation and Monitoring Commission to provide financial resources to complement the efforts to combat cholera.

Health Minister Bahar Idris Abugarda said in a statement that the total number of cases of ‘watery diarrhoea’ in the country now stands at 123 people. Since the first reports of infections in Blue Nile state in September 2016, the Sudanese authorities have refused to make any reference to the disease being cholera, in disagreement with doctors, medical volunteers and civil society initiatives.

Yesterday Abugarda said in a press statement that the containment of cholera is moving quickly as the health teams intensified their efforts to contain the epidemic, with continued monitoring and follow-up efforts. The current health situation is good all over the country, the health minister said, pointing out that schools and educational institutions are well protected.

Earlier this month a volunteer of one of the cholera awareness raising campaigns in Sudan told Radio Dabanga that the reality in the hospitals is very poor, contrary to what the state media say.

Follow #CholeraInSudan#الكوليرا_السودان for ongoing coverage by Radio Dabanga

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