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‘East, West, and North Darfur mostly affected by measles’: OCHA

May 24 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Measles cases in Sudan, December 2014 - 3 May 2015 (OCHA)
Measles cases in Sudan, December 2014 - 3 May 2015 (OCHA)

As of 3 May, 4,127 suspected cases of measles have been reported in Sudan, with 2,336 cases confirmed. The total number of deaths in 2015 has risen to 35, with recent fatalities reported in East Darfur.

East, West, and North Darfur account for 25 of the 35 reported deaths (71.4 percent). The total number of outbreak affected localities remained the same as previous weeks, with 32 affected localities in 14 states, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its bulletin last week.

The majority of measles cases continue to be reported by hospitals, indicating a high incidence of complicated cases that require inpatient care, the bulletin reads.

The first phase of a measles vaccination campaign, run by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and supported by the UN World Health Organisation (WHO), Unicef, and local health partners, began on 22 April and lasted for roughly ten days.

About 1.66 million children aged 6 months to 15 years in 28 of the highest risk localities across six states were targeted.

“Measles is a life threatening disease, but one that can easily be prevented with timely immunisation,” Unicef Representative in Sudan Geert Cappelaere said at the launch of the campaign. “Every girl and boy must be reached, no matter where they live. There are no excuses and no child can be left out.”

Sudan has one of the highest levels of malnutrition in Africa. 36 percent of the children are stunted, which is a primary manifestation of undernutrition. For malnourished children, measles can cause serious complications, including blindness, ear infections, pneumonia, and severe diarrhoea. 

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