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Hemorrhagic fever spreads in Sudan's South Kordofan

November 11 - 2014 KADUGLI

People in Kadugli, Abu Jubaiha, and Habila localities in South Kordofan have complained about the outbreak of an unknown fever. Meanwhile, the state’s Health Minister acknowledged the spread of the potentially fatal hemorrhagic fever, and stated that a medical team have been sent to the affected localities.

A number of residents revealed that the symptoms of this disease are high fever, vomiting, and headaches. It has led to “a high mortality rate”, they told Radio Dabanga. The residents pointed to the shortage of medicines and health care. “The state authorities ignored us despite the repeated complaints.” South Kordofan’s Minister of Health said that the government has sent medical teams to the affected areas.

Minister Abdallah Imam El Tom acknowledged the spread of hemorrhagic fever, as well as leishmaniasis *, and the rising number of cases, in a press release. He revealed that 25 people were infected and have been isolated in hospitals, but no deaths have been reported. The national cabinet has ordered health officials to step up disease surveillance in the areas where the two diseases have been reported, including Kadugli, Habila and Abu Jubaiha.

El Tom added that this year’s outbreak of the diseases is smaller than a similar outbreak last year. He said the problem is exacerbated by the movement of cattle herders in the area and the lack of quality healthcare facilities.

The Minister further attributed last week’s mass resignations of physicians and specialists in the state to the non-payment of their financial benefits.

* According to the WHO, viral haemorrhagic fever is a general term for a severe illness,  that may be caused by a number of viruses. Visceral leishmaniasis, also known as ‘black fever’, is a parasitic disease, killing nearly all of those infected. It is caused by the bite of sandflies. If blood containing leishmania parasites is drawn from an animal or human, the next person to receive a bite will then become infected and develop leishmaniasis. Months after this initial infection the disease can progress into the more severe form of kala-azar.

File photo: Area residents gathered at UNMISS compound in Kadugli (Paul Banks / UNMISS)

Related: Two die from bleeding, fever in West Kordofan (24 October 2014)

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