Health Minister: Vaccines for children delivered to 10 localities in North Darfur

A child receives an oral polio vaccine during an earlier campaign in Darfur (File photo: Albert Gonzalez Farran UNAMID

Consignments of vaccines against childhood diseases have been delivered to 10 of the 18 localities in North Darfur, in spite of logistical challenges caused by the ongoing war between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and general insecurity in the state.

According to Youssef Abdelwahab, Director of the Expanded Immunisation Programme in North Darfur, child vaccination vaccines have arrived in more than 10 localities in North Darfur out of a total of 18 localities despite the war conditions that the state is going through.

In a statement via the Ministry of Health, he pointed to the efforts of the joint forces and the armed struggle forces in securing the delivery of vaccines to the North Darfur, and from there to other Darfur states.

Abdulwahab said that the Expanded Immunisation Programme is a national system concerned with vaccinating children and preventing them from contracting diseases, which include about 11 diseases and have no other treatment.

He pointed to a number of challenges facing the immunisation programme in the state, foremost of which is preservation of vaccines in the absence of permanent and continuous electricity supply to the cold chain that accommodates vaccines for the five Darfur states.

Other challenges include the scarcity of fuel, in addition to difficulties transferring vaccines to localities. According to the minister, health partners from organisations contributed to the transport and delivery of vaccines.

Disease outbreaks

The federal Ministry of Health, working from Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, has registered hundreds of suspected cases of dengue fever and ‘watery diarrhoea’ in El Gedaref and El Gezira. Cholera and measles have been reported elsewhere in Sudan.

In a press statement in late September, the ministry pointed to the high number of cases of dengue fever in El Gedaref: 542 suspected cases and 300 confirmed cases. In addition, the eastern Sudanese state recorded 197 cases of ‘watery diarrhoea’ (often caused by cholera) in central El Gedaref and adjacent El Galabat West. In addition, 15 suspected cases of dengue fever were reported in El Gezira.