Sudan MPs criticise official report denying deaths from chikungunya
The Director-General of the Ministry of Health of Sudan’s Kassala state reported the recording of 474 new cases of chikungunya fever in the state on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections since the beginning of the current outbreak to 12,080, according to government statistics. Independent MPs have criticised the report saying that “it hides the facts”.
Speaking to the state parliament on Wednesday, Health Minister Mohamed Abuzaid denied that any deaths have been reported due to chikungunya fever in Kassala state.
Members of Parliament criticised the report of the Minister of Health. The independent MP of El Fashaga, Mubarak El Nur, described the report of the Minister of Health as “provocative and hiding the facts and stressed that the situation in Kassala catastrophic”.
A number of residents and activists in the localities of New Halfa and Aroma confirmed to Radio Dabanga that there were cases of Kankensha fever. Two cases of the fever were reported in New Halfa and four in Aroma. Residents expressed concern about the spread of the disease similar to what is happening in Kassala.
They called on the authorities to intervene urgently to combat the disease and provide environment sanitation.
The chikungunya epidemic is now spreading in the rural areas of Kassala locality, multiple sources told Radio Dabanga this week.
Callers severely criticised the Governor of Kassala, Adam Jamaa, for denying that people died of the mosquito-borne disease.
“At least 25 chikungunya patients reportedly died in Kassala during the past three days,” a listener reported. “The El Hassan and El Hussein cemetery east of Kassala and the graveyard west of El Gash are daily witnessing burials of chikungunya victims.”
The Governor of Kassala claims that the daily deaths are “unrelated to the disease”. He confirmed that 10,900 infections have been diagnosed. However, earlier this month, he acknowledged the death of seven people from chikungunya fever, and said that more than 6,000 people have been infected in the recently confirmed outbreak of the disease.
Radio Dabanga received the first reports about the spread of chikungunya fever in Kassala in late August.
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