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Kala-azar on the rise among North Darfur displaced

November 22 - 2015 EL FASHER
File photo: The sand-fly is small enough to get through the tiny holes of a standard mosquito net (timesofmalta.com)
File photo: The sand-fly is small enough to get through the tiny holes of a standard mosquito net (timesofmalta.com)

The displaced of camp Zamzam, south of El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, complain of an increase in those suffering from kala-azar* disease in the last five years. An activist told to Radio Dabanga that the rate of infection has risen from 150 cases in 2010 to 1,800 in 2015.

He highlighted the death of a number of patients. He attributed the increase to the halt in spraying operations that used to be carried out by organisations, lack of care for the environment health, a lack of mosquito nets among the displaced, a shortage of specialist doctors, and soaring prices of kala-azar medicines.

A number of kala-azar patients of camp Zamzam said that the treatment of the disease costs a patient more than SDG1,000 ($165) in addition to the cost of medical examination, check-ups and transportation to El Fasher.

They pointed out that the drugs require refrigeration which is not available in the camp. Patients complained about the sharp deterioration in the health care, services, the lack of specialist medical staff and the scarcity of medicines in the camp. They called on the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation to expedite the delivery and provision of treatment for patients.

* Visceral leishmaniosis, also known as “black fever”, is a parasitic disease, killing nearly all of those infected. It is caused by the bite of sand-flies. If blood containing leishmanial parasites is drawn from an animal or human, the next person to receive a bite will then become infected and develop leishmaniosis. Months after this initial infection the disease can progress into the more severe form of kala-azar.


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