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Doctors: Suspected cholera spreading fast in Sudan’s Blue Nile state

September 9 - 2019 ED DAMAZIN
Poster illustrating how to prevent the spread of cholera (Sudanese Doctors' Committee)
Poster illustrating how to prevent the spread of cholera (Sudanese Doctors' Committee)

Doctors in Sudan’s Blue Nile state report that the number of cases of ‘acute watery diarrhoea’, most possibly caused by cholera, has risen to 40 in state hospitals as of Saturday – ten more than a day earlier.

The Blue Nile state Doctors Committee said in a report yesterday that the total number of cases of the disease at El Roseires Hospital reached 37 cases as of Saturday evening. Most of these have recovered, but seven patients are still in hospital. Of three patients in Ed Damazin Teaching Hospital, one has recovered while two remain in the hospital receiving treatment.

The Doctors Committee in Blue Nile state has warned that a cholera epidemic threatens the country. Spokeswoman Dr Shiraz Ahmed called on the Ministry of Health to intervene urgently and take preventive measures to prevent an outbreak of the epidemic.

The committee calls on the ministry to confirm the presence of cholera and to take preventive interventions to prevent the spread of the epidemic to catastrophic dimensions as witnessed in the country in the past years.

The Doctors Committee called on the people to take utmost care in dealing with water and care to combat flies and go to the nearest treatment centre as soon as symptoms of diarrhoea appear.

Suspected cholera

Sudan has experienced an epidemic since 2016 which Sudanese government sources and several international organisations persistently refer to it as ‘acute watery diarrhoea’ – in spite of numerous independent confirmations (conducted according to WHO standards) that the disease which broke out in Blue Nile state in August 2016 was cholera.

The WHO and the Sudanese Ministry of Health reported in October 2018 that the total number of recorded cases in 2017 reached more than 35,000 – including 800 related deaths. Doctors of Sudan’s National Epidemiological Corporation reported in July last year, however, that nearly 24,000 Sudanese had been infected and 940 cholera patients died in 2017.

In May 2018, Sudan’s then federal minister of health, declared that Sudan is now free of the ’watery diarrhoea’ outbreak  that hit various parts of the country during the past year.

‘Disaster area’

The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement-North faction in Blue Nile state led by Malik Akar (SPLM-N Agar) has declared the state a disaster area as a result of the floods and rains that cut off the roads leading to it.

The movement said in a statement on Sunday that more than 200,000 people in Blue Nile state suffer from a scarcity of food, medicines, shelter and clothing, as they have been cut off from any communication because their areas are flooded.

The rebel movement appealed to citizens, local, regional and international organisations to expedite the provision of aid and humanitarian assistance to save the affected children, women and the elderly.

Follow #CholeraInSudan, #ألكوليرا_السودان

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