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Malaria spreading in West Darfur camps

November 8 - 2015 EL GENEINA
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The people living in El Geneina camps for the displaced in West Darfur complain about the spread of malaria, along with a shortage of affordable medicines. A joint Sudanese-UN medical team arrived in West Darfur last week to assess the outbreak of viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) in the state.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, an elder of El Riyadh camp said that about ten months ago malaria began to spread in the El Geneina camps, “especially among children.

“The health centres in the camps receive about 30 patients per day. Dozens of more patients return home each day without having seen a doctor. Those examined do not find the required medicines in the camps and are not able to pay for the expensive medicines at the commercial pharmacies.”

The camp elder appealed to the West Darfur authorities, the Sudanese Ministry of Health, and the UN World Health Organization (WHO) to “support the displaced people's fight against the mosquitoes, and provide affordable medicines to the patients”.

'Dengue fever'

A joint team from the Sudanese Ministry of Health and the WHO arrived in El Geneina, capital of West Darfur, on Thursday to assess the health situation in the state, which recorded 210 VHF patients since 29 August. 83 of them died.

Samples taken from West Darfur patients tested positive for West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, and Dengue virus.

Dr Naima El Tawil, the Qatari country director of the WHO, told reporters in the West Darfur capital upon the team's arrival that they want to obtain first-hand information about the health conditions in the state. She pointed out that the WHO is ready to provide substantive and technical support to address the epidemic.

A representative of the West Darfur Ministry of Health confirmed the need for financial and technical support, as well as for more medical staff and work aids.

The director of the Federal Office for Emergencies and the Combating of Epidemics, Dr Ahmed Babiker Magboul, affirmed his office's readiness to curb the spread of Dengue fever and malaria.

Last Tuesday, the Sudanese Ministry of Health and the WHO officially confirmed the outbreak of VHF in the five Darfur states in Darfur. The state with the highest number of cases was West Darfur (110), followed by North and Central Darfur with 33 cases each, East Darfur with five cases, and South Darfur with one.

From 29 August to 25 October, 81 fatalities were recorded in West Darfur, 15 in North Darfur, six in Central Darfur, and one in East Darfur.  

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