Several children living in camps in Saraf Umra locality, North Darfur, died from a hitherto unidentified disease that has spread among the population two months ago. Ten infected people died in one week.
The coordinator of camps in Saraf Umra, Sheikh Abdelrazeg Yousif Suleiman, told Radio Dabanga yesterday that seven of the ten dead in the Dankoj and Jebel camps were children. The symptoms of the disease, he said, are swellings on the body, a high fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, and pain in the joints.
“There are many cases in the Saraf Umra hospital, but no statistics on the number of deaths throughout the locality,” the coordinator said. He criticised the hospital doctors for not identifying or notifying the state Ministry of Health about the disease, demanding the deployment of medical teams in order to investigate the infections and provide medicines.
One month ago, Suleiman reported the outbreak of the unknown disease and a shortage of medicines, that has made the prices soar. He said that four children and an elderly man died, and more than 12 others had confirmed infections in September.
The disease first appeared at Jayeen Thilo and Subyan Khavo west of Saraf Umra town, and Melessa and Numera villages east of Saraf Umra. It appeared in the first week of September after heavy rains, an accumulation of water, and the spread of mosquitoes.
Medicines from WHO, Unamid
A delegation of World Health Organization (WHO) and AU-UN Mission in Darfur (Unamid) employees visited one of the camps in Saraf Umra recently. “They told the Sheikhs there that they brought the Saraf Umra hospital medicines, to be distributed among the displaced people. The hospital's administration, however, refused to distribute these medicines,” the coordinator claimed. “We were surprised to find them back on pharmacy shelves in markets in Saraf Umra.”