More than 50 Darfur displaced die from diarrhoea

In Nierteti, Central Darfur, 18 children died this week from fever and diarrhoea. In Saraf Umra, North Darfur, at least 20 displaced died of the same ailments. In the Abu Shouk and Korma camps, North Darfur, 21 people died from diarrhoea, eight of them children.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a displaced woman reported from Nierteti town that 18 children died last week of high fever and diarrhoea. “There are dozens of people suffering similar cases.”

She complained about the lack of medicines and good treatment at Nierteti hospital, and appealed via Radio Dabanga to humanitarian organisations to intervene, and provide medical aid, “in particular to the population of the Nierteti camps”.

Camp elders in Saraf Umra, North Darfur, reported the death of at least 20 people this week, in the Saraf Umra, Dankoj, and Jebelein camps. “They all died of high fever and diarrhoea”.

“We suffer from a severe shortage of medicines in Saraf Umra. Besides, the prices of medicines available at the pharmacies are soaring.”

E-Coli bacteria and giardia

According to the latest weekly bulletin of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan, increased cases of diarrhoea have been reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Abu Shouk for the displaced in El Fasher locality, North Darfur, starting from early July.

“Between 6 and 16 August, 107 diarrhoea cases among children under five, including 11 deaths, were reported in Abu Shouk camp. This translates into a 10.3 percent case fatality rate.” “Initial testing of samples showed presence of E-Coli bacteria and giardia. Further testing will be carried out at the public health laboratory in Khartoum for confirmation.”

With the support of the world Health Organisation (WHO), water testing was also conducted in Abu Shouk camp. In total, 25 water samples were collected for bacteriological analysis. The test results revealed that 13 samples were contaminated. In addition, 20 out 22 samples taken for residual chlorine testing were found unsafe for human consumption. Moreover, sanitary inspection showed that there is stagnant water around the hand pumps, and there is a need for urgent fencing to prevent contamination, OCHA stated.

According to WHO, the outbreak is being contained in the camp.

An increasing trend of diarrheal cases amongst newly displaced people settled close to the Unamid team site in Korma was also reported. In the past week, 146 cases, including ten deaths, were recorded. Of the ten fatal cases, eight were children under the age of five years. A Rapid Response Team was dispatched to the area, with direct support from WHO, to strengthen surveillance and collect samples for testing. The water and sanitation situation is reported to be very critical.

File photo: A sick infant in Darfur

Related: Four die of mystery disease in West Darfur (27 August 2014)