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Report: ‘High incidence of heart disease among children in rural Sudan’

December 13 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Medical checks at Kalma camp for the displaced in Nyala, South Darfur (File photo: Albert González Farran / Unamid)
Medical checks at Kalma camp for the displaced in Nyala, South Darfur (File photo: Albert González Farran / Unamid)

Up to two per cent of children in Sudan’s rural areas suffer from heart disease, especially in Darfur, according to a new specialist report.

On Tuesday, Heart disease consultant Sulafa Ahmed said in a press statement that 30,000 of the affected children are being treated at Khartoum hospitals.

She said the disease begins with symptoms of bacteriological throat pain without bleeding and develops into a joint tumour (rheumatic fever) which leads to the destruction of the heart valves.

She confirmed that 95 per cent of these cases are serious and pointed out that the cost of surgery is between $5,000 to $10,000.

Rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever (RF) is an inflammatory disease that can involve the heart, joints, skin, and brain. The disease typically develops two to four weeks after a streptococcal throat infection. Signs and symptoms include fever, multiple painful joints, involuntary muscle movements, and occasionally a characteristic non-itchy rash. The heart is involved in about half of cases. Damage to the heart valves, known as rheumatic heart disease (RHD), usually occurs after repeated attacks but can sometimes occur after one. The damaged valves may result in heart failure, atrial fibrillation and infection of the valves.

Interview in 2014 by 60 Minutes with Dr Gino Strada who operates in children with heart disease at Salam Centre in Khartoum.


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