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Watery diarrhoea kills eight in eastern Sudan

January 16 - 2017 JEBEIT
Donkey cart selling water in in the outskirts of Khartoum (file photo)
Donkey cart selling water in in the outskirts of Khartoum (file photo)

Eight people have died of acute acute watery diarrhoea in Sudan’s Red Sea state in the last 30 days.

Listener Omar Taher Abu Amna told Radio Dabanga from Jebeit in Sinkat locality in that the town residents are suffering from an outbreak of watery diarrhoea since early December.

“The eighth victim died on Saturday,” he said.

He pointed to the deterioration of the health situation in the area. “The health authorities are nowhere to be seen. At least, they should raise the awareness of the people about the seriousness of the disease.”

Another source told this station that many people in Sinkat blame the Red Sea state members of parliament “for not playing their part towards the people in the locality”.

He demanded the Red Sea state health authorities and civil society organisations to intervene “as soon as possible”.

Blue Nile state, El Gezira

During the last quarter of 2016, reports about the spread of watery diarrhoea in various parts of Sudan increased. The first cases were reported in Blue Nile state, where at least 17 people died of the disease in September. A doctor working at the Ed Damazin Hospital in the Blue Nile capital attributed the high prevalence of the disease to the contamination of drinking water, vegetables, and meat.

The federal Health Ministry reported cases in Blue Nile and Kassala in southern and eastern Sudan and River Nile state in northern Sudan in the same month. The first samples of patients were examined for cholera as well.

Since then the deadly disease spread to other localities in eastern and central Sudan.

The Health Ministry in Khartoum has denied the latest reports about the rapid spread of the deadly disease in central Sudan’s El Gezira. Yet, a spokesman announced on Thursday that “precautionary procedures have been set to face the cases of acute watery diarrhoea that have recently hit some states”.

The Ministry’s measures consist of “field visits by environmentalists, preventive medicine experts, health, and health and hygiene officers for the supervision, cleaning, and the combating of flies at the markets”.

In December, a health worker told Radio Dabanga from Wad Madani, capital of El Gezira, that the authorities prohibited the doctors from talking about the disease. He also said that agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated drinking water samples to be checked on contamination in a Wad Madani laboratory.

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