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Measles: Two deaths in North Darfur camp, reports in eastern Sudan

June 29 - 2018 EL FASHER / TOKAR
Vaccination of measles in Sudan (WHO)
Vaccination of measles in Sudan (WHO)

Two people who were infected with measles in Zamzam camp in El Fasher locality have died, while dozens of others have been infected. Tokar locality in Red Sea state has taken action to investigate its growing number of infections.

A leader of Zamzam, south of El Fasher city, told Radio Dabanga that the disease has appeared in the camp for displaced people in May. “People of Doctors Without Borders and the North Darfur Health Ministry have started an intervention and established an isolation centre in the camp.”

He reported that the centre has received more than 180 infected cases starting May, most of them children, and two of them have now died.

The camp leader is concerned that the disease spreads among school pupils, “especially with the beginning of the school year”. The health conditions in the camp have worsened because of high temperatures and rainfall.

Eastern Sudan

On the other side of the country, in Tokar in Red Sea state, volunteers have reported an outbreak of measles in villages north and south of Tokar. They also reported a number of deaths in the past two weeks.

The volunteers in the medical sector, most of them activists, told Radio Dabanga that Tokar hospital recorded an increase in the number of measles patients on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Most of the cases have been discharged after their recovery. The number of hospitalised cases amounted to four on Thursday,” one of the activists said. The volunteer pointed to the transfer of a number of patients to hospitals in Port Sudan

Activists demanded that measles vaccination be expanded to all the villages of Tokar.

Mekki Abdallah, the commissioner of Tokar locality reported to Radio Dabanga that he received reports about the spread of measles in one of the villages. “Tokar locality has sent a medical team to research the cases of infection.”

The commissioner denied that there have been any reports of deaths caused by measles infection in the area. He said that critical cases would be transferred to the hospital. “The four patients in Tokar hospital are still there, in a stable condition.”

Spread

 Earlier this month the spread of measles in West Darfur has prompted the state Ministry of Health to develop a plan to combat the disease. Suspected measles cases have been reported since early June in Ailliet locality in North Darfur, mainly among South Sudanese refugees, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

According to the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) a measles epidemic is spreading to all states of Sudan.

Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), measles vaccination resulted in a 84% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2016 worldwide.


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