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COVID-19, chikungunya on the rise in Sudan as drug supplies dwindle

October 8 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Cartoon by Omar Dafallah
Cartoon by Omar Dafallah

The Sudanese Ministry of Health announced the registration of 15 new COVID-19 cases during the period from October 1-5, while the number of samples examined during the reporting period reached 5,096.

Tahani Amin, Director of the Ministry of Health’s Directorate General of Emergency and Epidemic Control, said that 13 of the 15 patients came from abroad.

Two of the infected cases were registered in Sennar and White Nile state, the rest in Khartoum.

Between September 28 and October 5, 208 new coronavirus cases have been recorded. The cumulative number of cases since the outbreak of the epidemic in Sudan in March has reached 13,668.

Patients awaiting treatment at the First Aid Hospital
in El Geneina, West Darfur (Social media)


Medicine supplies running low

Sudan’s Central Pharmacists’ Committee has warned of catastrophic effects due to an  almost complete lack of essential, life-saving, and chronic disease drugs across the country.

The committee said in a statement on Wednesday that the crisis has exposed citizens’ health to great risks and complications in many cases.

And medicinal security has been described as a red line, in light of the threat of outbreaks of post-autumn diseases such as malaria, fevers and epidemics, as is happening in North and West Darfur.

The pharmacists pointed to “the harbingers of the pharmaceutical market collapse in light of the impotent transitional government and its institutions across the economic portfolio and the ministries of health and finance”.

They said the plans of the Strategic Commodities portfolio and the Ministry of Finance to provide foreign currency for imports have not been implemented, and considered this “clear negligence by the transitional government and its ministries concerned with handling the medicines file in Sudan”.

The First Aid Hospital in El Geneina, West Darfur, is witnessing great overcrowding, a scarcity of medicine and treatment, and a shortage of medical staff and detention wards, at a time when the Wali of West Darfur, Mohamed El Doma announced this week a State of Health Emergency in the state after confirming that 41 people were infected with chikungunya fever.

The Ministry of Health in West Darfur confirmed that the situation is out of control due to the scarcity and scarcity of medicines, medical supplies and hospitals that can accommodate the injured. It appealed to the federal Ministry of Health to intervene in order to save the situation in light of the scarcity of the pesticide that was developed for emergency cases.

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