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Millions of Sudanese at Risk of Cholera as Humanitarian Agencies Step up Response

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced that aid agencies are working to expand the response to cholera outbreaks in a number of Sudanese states and support the detection and treatment of cases, noting that vaccination campaigns are expected to begin by the end of this month.

Health authorities in Sudan declared a cholera outbreak in Gedaref on September 26.

At least 2,525 suspected cases of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera, including 78 associated deaths, have been reported in 27 localities in Gedarif, South Kordofan, Kassala, Khartoum, Gezira and Sennar states.

It is estimated that more than 3.1 million people are at risk of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera in eight states. Surveillance continues in affected and high-risk areas with the aim of identifying and addressing risk factors.

UN agencies and partners have approved the Federal Ministry of Health’s request to provide more than 2.9 million doses of oral cholera vaccines for interactive vaccination campaigns in nine localities in Gedarif, Gezira and Khartoum states.

Security situation impedes humanitarian access

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the continuation of the conflict in Sudan for the seventh month has strained the health system, noting that WHO is coordinating with humanitarian partners to establish mobile clinics, strengthen surveillance and distribute essential medicines and supplies.

However, the difficult security situation as well as bureaucratic and administrative hurdles hinder access to those in need, Dr. Tedros said. He appealed to the international community to focus its attention on the Sudan and its urgent needs.

He said in a tweet that escalating violence in Darfur was forcing more people to flee to neighbouring Chad, which he said added a burden to an already fragile state.

Source: Al-Taghyeer