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North Darfur authorities work to contain whooping cough outbreak

November 8, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - While the West Darfur has the highest number of haemorrhagic fever cases, another bacterial disease, whooping cough is hitting North Darfur state where over 400 cases are identified.

IDPs wait to be seen at an MSF health post in North Darfur state in 2010 (File Photo/MSF)

The Sudanese ministry of health reported an outbreak of Pertussis or whooping cough in several villages of El Sireaf locality.

The high contagious disease, which is an infection of the respiratory system, is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. In some countries it is called the 100 days" cough.

The whooping cough is an all-age-disease but the majority of the 400 reported cases in North Darfur are of people under 15 years.

In its weekly bulletin of 1 November, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that "Médecins Sans Frontières Spain (MSF-Spain) has initiated case management and community awareness-raising activities and from 17-22 October".

Also, Sudanese authorities "vaccinated over 16,600 children under five years," OCHA said.

Health officials say the lack of health services is a common trait in Sudan’s remote and rural areas. But they point that the situation is a bit particular in Darfur due to the insecurity, and the bad impact of the conflict in the arid region.

Also North Darfur authorities suspect the spread of another viral disease, Acute Jaundice Syndrome (AJS) in Shangil Tobaya, Dar El Salam locality where some 104 cases have to be confirmed.

Also, the health ministry and the United Nations World Health Organization launched an awareness campaign and in the meantime work in coordination with the water and sanitation services to improve water quality and strengthen hygiene interventions.