Sudan schools take cholera measures amid concerns
People in West Kordofan complained about the risk of their children contracting cholera in the re-opened schools. El Gedaref state authorities took precautionary measures for schools and pupils. Meanwhile, a boy with cholera died in a hospital in Khartoum.
The residents of Abu Zabad in West Kordofan complained about the Ministry of Education's decision to not postpone the opening of the new school year on 7 July. “The people consider the risk of their children contracting the disease to be a red line that should not be crossed,” the witness told Radio Dabanga.
People said to hold the ministry and the educational office responsible for anything that will happen to the children. There were nationwide calls to postpone the opening of the new school year by doctors and opposition parties in order to contain the spread of the cholera epidemic in the country, however, the Sudanese Ministry of Education has decided to continue with the school year.
In northern Khartoum, a 12-year-old boy died in Elbanjadeed Hospital after suffering from cholera on Monday. A medical source told Radio Dabanga yesterday that the number of cases in the hospital in El Haj Yousif has amounted to fourteen, including four new cases on Monday. “All of them are children.”
Meanwhile one of the health officers in Abu Zabad held an educational symposium on Monday in which he explained to residents how to combat the disease and avoid infection. The number of cholera infections in the town fell from fourteen yesterday to two on Monday. “Most of the infections are concentrated in the areas of Gabira, Elrubu Elrabi and Elrubu Elawal,” a medical source told this station.
The children's ward in the local hospital is transformed to an isolation centre for patients with symptoms of the disease. Patients are also isolated outside of the hospital, where only one person may accompany each patient. “The authorities are working on the chlorination of water engines and there are health supervisors for each water engine to supervise the sterilisation of water,” the medical source said.
Obliged breakfast at home
Amid the concerns of students and their parents in Sudan's El Gedaref state, schools have re-opened for the new year. Education and health authorities have taken precautionary measures, but the attendance rate in schools is less than 50 percent, a source in El Gallabat locality reported.
'Less than 50 percent of all pupils' have entered their school in El Gedaref
“There are precautionary measures to prevent peddlers, juice and beverage vendors from standing in front of schools,” the source reported. Often the hygiene of the products of vendors, and their water source, is questionable.
In addition, each student has been required to attend his breakfast at home, in an attempt to stop the cholera infections from spreading among students at the schools. The source added that half of all water well sources has not been chlorinated yet.
Though doctors in Sudan and abroad have repeatedly appealed to the government in Khartoum to acknowledge the spread of cholera, the authorities continue to call the disease “acute watery diarrhoea”, blocking international aid groups from rolling out campaigns to combat the cholera epidemic.
There are incidents in which journalists, doctors and activists have been detained or warned no to speak out about cholera in Sudan. Most recently on Monday, Abdallah Abdelbari and Nasir Mohamed, members of the Sudanese Congress Party, distributed leaflets about cholera and how to prevent infection at the market of Abu Zabad. They were arrested by security agents. A witness told Radio Dabanga that they were still being held in detention on Monday evening.
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