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Demands to treat miners with cholera outside of Northern State town

August 4 - 2017 DELGO
Traditional gold mining in Sudan (file photo)
Traditional gold mining in Sudan (file photo)

The number of gold miners who contracted cholera in the last week has overloaded the hospital of Delgo in Northern State. Members of local Popular Committees threatened to prevent miners from entering Dalgo.

The Popular Committees of Delgo, Sadinkorta, and Agtari in Sudan's Northern State have given the local administration two days to move the cholera isolation ward from Delgo hospital to the gold mining areas on Thursday.

In a letter to the Health Affairs department in Delgo, the committees threatened to take measures to prevent miners from these areas, who are suspected of having cholera, to come into Delgo in the event the local authorities do not respond to their request.

'Isolation units need to be established in the areas of traditional mining,rather than transferring all cholera cases to the hospital,' the letter reads. The committees stressed that this risks the number of infections in central Delgo to rise.

The hospital is 'overcrowded', they added, as the hospital’s verandas are also carrying patients because the isolation centre is too small to accommodate the growing number of cases.

Activist Adham Nasir told Radio Dabanga that the hospital in Delgo receiceved 34 new cases of cholera on Thursday, raising the total number of infected cases in the ward to 77.

“All of these patients came from the traditional mining areas adjacent to the city. But the isolation ward in the hospital does not work accordingly to known specifications. It is located near the entrance of the hospital, for example.”

Nasir said that residents of Delgo have refrained from going to see a doctor at the hospital in fear of contracting cholera. “There are not enough health cadres and equipment, making Dalgo hospital unfit to receive the increasing number of cholera patients.”

Traditional gold mining

Gold has been the main source of income in Sudan since it became an oil importer when South Sudan seceded in 2011. A large part of the gold in Sudan is produced by traditional mining, carried out by individuals and locals. The total gold production of traditional miners reached 18.9 tons compared to 17.9 in 2016.

Follow #CholeraInSudan#الكوليرا_السودان for ongoing coverage by Radio Dabanga

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