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Medicine shortage, disease in North Darfur’s Saraf Umra

September 29 - 2015 SARAF UMRA
Women wait for medical aid in Darfur (file photo)
Women wait for medical aid in Darfur (file photo)

The displaced in North Darfur’s Saraf Umra locality have renewed their complaints about the deteriorating health situation, marked by the outbreak of a hitherto unidentified disease. Those with health insurance cards are reportedly unable to receive medicines.

The coordinator of the Saraf Umra camps, Sheikh Abdelrazeg Yousif Suleiman, said that the disease causes body swelling among the affected camp residents. The camp also witnesses a spread of malaria among a shortage of medicines that makes the prices soar.

“The price of malaria medication in the hospital has risen to SDG40 and SDG60 at pharmacies,” Suleiman said ($6.50 and $9.80 respectively). The displaced people in Saraf Umra camps, “who number 37,000”, also struggle to get health insurance cards.

In addition, the coordinator demanded from the Ministry of Health to conduct an investigation and find out the reasons why the displaced people who own health insurance cards are unable to receive medicines.

Deaths following infections in Saraf Umra were reported two weeks ago. Four children and an elderly man died, and more than 12 others had confirmed infections. Symptoms of the disease include swelling of the body and abdomen accompanied by fever, vomiting, and coughing.

The Sheikh said that the disease first appeared at Jayeen Thilo and Subyan Khavo west of Saraf Umra town, and Melessa and Numera villages east of Saraf Umra. It appeared in the first week of September after heavy rains, an accumulation of water, and the spread of mosquitoes.

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