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Eastern Sudanese activists on chikungunya epidemic: ‘#Kassala is dying’

September 23 - 2018 KASSALA
The Teaching Hospital of Port Sudan (file photo)
The Teaching Hospital of Port Sudan (file photo)

According to health authorities in eastern Sudan’s Kassala, at least 9,300 people in the state are affected by chikungunya. Ten patients died. Activists however say that that the number of deaths lies between 78 and 116 people.

On Friday, a pregnant woman died of the mosquito-borne disease, raising the official number od death to 11.

The Sudanese Health Minister of State, Souad El Karib, said during her visit to Kassala last week that the chikungunya epidemic is in its final stage.

Health sources told Radio Dabanga that the number of patients admitted to health centres and private clinics in the eastern Sudanese state is still increasing. They complained that the Ministry of Health is distributing painkillers only.

Activists in Kassala are severely criticising the “lack of response” by the state government on social media. Using the hashtaq “Kassala is Dying”, they demand the authorities to declare Kassala a disaster zone.

* Chikungunya is a virus transmitted by the same kinds of mosquitoes that spread dengue and Zika virus. It is characterised by an abrupt onset of fever, frequently accompanied by joint pain. There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for chikungunya. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain. Most patients recover fully within weeks, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the cause of death.

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