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WHO supports cholera treatment centre in South Darfur

July 21 - 2017 NYALA / MURNEI / KADUGLI / JUBA
Cholera isolation ward in El Salam camp, Nyala, in July 2017 (RD source)
Cholera isolation ward in El Salam camp, Nyala, in July 2017 (RD source)

The World Health Organization is supporting a cholera treatment centre in Nyala city, a United Nations office reported. Two people died from cholera in a camp for displaced people in Murnei, West Darfur on Wednesday.

The Sudanese Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) visited Kalma camp in South Darfur to witness the response against the spread of 'acute watery diarrhoea', the United Nations humanitarian office (OCHA) reports in its news bulletin.

“The delegation also visited Nyala Teaching Hospital where WHO is supporting a Cholera Treatment Centre (CTC),” OCHA reported. “Water quality control measures are also in place at the hospital, aided by the water quality testing kits provided by WHO.”

Since the first reports of infections in Blue Nile state in September 2016, the Sudanese authorities have refused to make any reference to the disease being cholera, in disagreement with doctors, medical volunteers and civil society initiatives. They demand the government to declare the epidemic in the 12 affected states, so as to allow the country to receive urgent support from the WHO.

The DRDC, among others, lobbied for the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relief agencies to develop emergency plans with the Government of Sudan after it would declare the existence of cholera in the country and stopped using ambiguous terms for the disease.

South Sudan

“Following other successful oral cholera vaccine campaigns, WHO and partners can make a real difference in controlling the outbreak,” said Joseph Wamala, an epidemiologist at the World Health Organization (WHO) active in South Sudan. Here the UN health agency announced it is scaling up its cholera response, where 17,785 cases, including 320 deaths, have been reported since the outbreak in June 2016.

“Cholera is endemic in South Sudan and historically, outbreaks have occurred along major commercial routes and rivers in the dry season as well as during the rainy season,” Radio Tamazuj quoted Wamala as saying. 

WHO South Sudan reported that cholera transmission in Bentiu, Leer, and Malakal Town (in the north of the country) and as well in Bor, Mingkaman, Duk, Ayod, Aburoc, and several other areas has been controlled.

South Kordofan

A medical source told Radio Dabanga that a person, infected with cholera, died at the isolation centre of Kadugli Hospital on Wednesday. The source added that the number of infections decreased in comparison to last week. “During the past two weeks, 58 people suffered from cholera at the hospital.”

One week ago, the source reported that four people were admitted to the centre. The majority of new cholera cases came from Hajar Balila district in Kadugli.

West Darfur displaced

Head of camp Murnei in West Darfur reported to this station that the number of cholera deaths rose to 16 in two weeks. “There is an increase. The number of hospitalised cases in the isolation ward is 19, while the total number of infected cases has run up to more than 40 people during the past two weeks,” he said on Thursday.

The camp leader said the disease has spread at villages close to the camp.

Reports from El Salam camp for the displaced near Nyala, South Darfur, indicate a decrease. A Sheikh in the camp reported that one case was reported to the isolation ward on Thursday.

Earlier this week, volunteers at the ward said that six people died from the infectious disease in the preceding week. The volunteers warned that the rates may increase again when heavy rains kick in, which would also put surrounding villages at risk of contracting cholera.

In September last year, Radio Dabanga received the first reports about people stricken by “acute watery diarrhoea” in Blue Nile state. Since then the deadly disease spread to other areas - Sudanese doctors confirmed that it has reached  people in 12 states in total.

Follow #CholeraInSudan, #الكوليرا_السودان for ongoing coverage by Radio Dabanga

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