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Cholera outbreak kills 62 in Sudan’s White Nile state

May 25, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A cholera epidemic in Sudan’s White Nile has killed 62 people and infected almost 1800 since the first cases emerged several weeks ago, says a report released by the independent union of Sudan Doctors Committee (SDC) on Thursday.

A child receives an oral cholera vaccine dose in the South Sudan capital, Juba (Medair Photo)

The release of the report coincided with a directive by a directive issued by the first vice-president and prime minister to take the take the needed measures to contain the outbreak. The Acute Watery Diarrhea swept through the White Nile State and reached the peripheries of Khartoum and Aljazeira states.

According to the report seen by Sudan Tribune, at least 62 people have died of cholera in a number of districts in the White Nil, including eight people in Assalaya, over 20 deaths in Ad Douiem, 10 deaths in Kosti, 10 deaths in Rabak; Aba Island 9 deaths, 4 deaths in Al Jabalian, Tandalti and Al Gutaina 10 deaths and one in Tayiba.

The medical group further said that there are 1800 cases of cholera based on their investigation pointing that the massive spread of the epidemic complicates the movement of medical teams.

Cholera, which is a bacterial disease, spreads by contaminated water and food. It can be easily treated by oral rehydration fluids if taken early. However, it can kill within hours If not treated.

Officials blame the outbreak of the disease on inadequate access to clean drinking water.

Last Tuesday, the White Nil governor admitted that the outbreak killed 49 people and infected 2755 people.

The SDC called on the competent authorities at the federal and state levels to recognize the existence of a "public health disaster" in the White Nile, and to take urgent action including the traditional quarantine measures, and the provision of personal hygiene tools and disinfectants and accelerate the provision of free intravenous solutions and essential vaccines.

Also, the rebel SPLM-N has made an urgent appeal to save the lives of White Nile citizens from the deadly cholera epidemic.

"The SPLM calls on the health authorities in the country and the government to declare a state of emergency in the region and declares the region as an area affected by cholera," said a statement released by Mubarak Ardol, an SPLM-N spokesperson.

He underscored that this declaration requires the intervention of various global and regional health organisations to provide health services to save human life and control the disease and prevent its spread to other areas.

(ST)