Five people reportedly died of what is suspected to be cholera in Nierteti in Central Darfur on Monday. A team of doctors has not yet been able to reach the affected villages.
Two people died from similar symptoms of acute watery diarrhoea or cholera in the last week. Nierteti Hospital’s designated isolation ward received a number of patients during the weekend, volunteers in the hospital told Radio Dabanga.
Fifteen cases of cholera or diarrhoea arrived from the villages of Ketzuela, Kurna, Mara and Kutrem, bringing the total number of cases in the hospital to 53 on Monday.
On Sunday the state’s health ministry deployed a medical team consisting of ten doctors, eight nurses and medics to Nierteti town and they went on their way to the affected villages. “But military forces stationed at Kutrem, east of Nierteti, denied the team access to the villages and forced the team to return to Nierteti,” a source in the area said.
September 2017 was the last time that Nierteti Hospital was treating more than ten cases of cholera – most of them arrived from the camps for displaced people – at a time when the spread of the epidemic in Sudan seemed to subside.
A slight increase in cases was reported during the last week of 2017 and the first week of this year, however: 46 and 30 new cases respectively were registered in eastern Sudan.
Residents report a rapid spread of the disease east of Nierteti town
Residents of Lyon area, also east of Nierteti, reported a rapid spread of the number of infections with acute watery diarrhoea, suspected of being cholera. Several people have died in the last week while an estimated 142 people have been infected, some of whom have been taken to Nierteti Hospital for treatment.
A resident told this station that the disease appeared in the area five days ago. “It has spread among dozens of villages with about 12,000 inhabitants. The authorities and humanitarian organisations must intervene to contain the disease.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Sudanese Ministry of Health in mid-October 2017, the total number of reported ‘acute watery diarrhoea’ cases across 18 states of Sudan reached more than 35,000 people – including 800 related deaths since the outbreak of the disease.
In spite of numerous independent confirmations (conducted according to WHO standards) that the disease was cholera, the Sudanese authorities and several international organisations still call it ‘Acute Watery Diarrhoea’.