Health Minister: ‘Sudan ‘free of watery diarrhoea’
Sudan’s federal Minister of Health, Bahr Idris Abu Garda, has declared that Sudan is now free of the 'watery diarrhoea' outbreak (suspected to be cholera) that hit various parts of the country during the past year.
In an address to the coordination meeting of ministers of the states in Sennar yesterday, Minister Abu Garda called for the the necessary precautions to raise awareness, hygiene, and chlorination of drinking water to prevent a renewed outbreak of the disease.
The Minister also called for “attention to health insurance and development and to work on the appointment of midwives and various health staff to provide distinguished services to the citizens”.
His statement contradicts an earlier announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) which said that there are still patients with the disease being treated in Central Darfur. “The total number of new acute watery diarrhoea cases reported from Central Darfur from February to March is 468, with almost all cases reported from 63 inaccessible villages in western Jebel Marra.”
In spite of numerous independent confirmations (conducted according to World Health Organisation (WHO) standards) that the disease which broke out in Blue Nile State in August 2016 was cholera, the Sudanese authorities and several international organisations persistently refer to it as ‘acute watery diarrhoea’.
The WHO and the Sudanese Ministry of Health reported in mid-October that the total number of recorded cases reached more than 35,000 people – including 800 related deaths. Doctors of Sudan’s National Epidemiological Corporation reported in early July however, that nearly 24,000 Sudanese had been infected and 940 cholera patients died..
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in its biweekly bulletin in March that quick action by the Sudanese government and the UN has been instrumental in curbing a new outbreak of ‘acute watery diarrhoea’ in Central Darfur in February.
The measures included the establishment of isolation centres, bolstering water quality control, rapid response training, and close monitoring of the situation on the ground.
The outbreak in entailed 300 new cases, reported after a ten-week period of zero cases in Central Darfur, and a three-week period of zero cases nationwide, OCHA stated.
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