WHO: Cholera outbreak in eastern Sudan, 10 people dead

The World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations agency, has reported the spread of cholera and dengue fever in eastern Sudan. Cases have increased among people who are sheltering in crowded camps due to the escalating violent clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

According to the WHO, 162 suspected cholera cases went to hospitals in the Al Jazira state and other areas along the border with Ethiopia.

The organization confirmed 80 cases of cholera, with 10 deaths reported as a result of this bacterial infection, which usually transmits through contaminated water or food.

Cholera outbreaks are a recurring issue in economically disadvantaged Sudan. The disease claimed the lives of at least 700 individuals and afflicted around 22,000 within a span of less than two months during Sudan’s most recent significant outbreak in 2017.

In Ethiopia, a cholera outbreak that commenced in August 2022 has led to the illness of a minimum of 20,000 individuals and resulted in over 270 fatalities, as the WHO reported. This outbreak has impacted seven regions, including areas bordering Sudan.

The Sudanese Doctors’ Union has reported that “hundreds” of dengue patients have lost their lives in the eastern part of the country, labelling the outbreak as “a health crisis.” The union noted that most hospitals in Al Qadarif are inundated with patients struggling to cope with the situation.

The crisis has driven over 5.2 million people from their homes, with over 1 million seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.

Approximately half of Sudan’s population, roughly 25 million people, requires humanitarian aid, including about 6.3 million who are perilously close to famine.

The situation is dire, with the United Nations reporting that at least 5,000 individuals have lost their lives, and over 12,000 others have sustained injuries. However, the actual figures are likely higher.

The UN refugee agency’s recent update revealed that over the past five months, more than 1,200 children under the age of five have tragically passed away in nine camps in Sudan due to a deadly combination of measles and malnutrition.

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