Widespread Outbreak of Dengue Fever in Eastern and Central Sudan: Hundreds Dead, Thousands Infected

The states of eastern and central Sudan are witnessing a widespread outbreak of dengue fever, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of infections. According to the Sudan Doctors Syndicate.

The union said in a statement on Monday that the incidence of dengue fever had become so severe that it was difficult to determine the number of infected people. Pointing out that hospitals in the Gedaref region in eastern Sudan are overcrowded with patients, some of whom cannot even find a place to receive treatment, as public and private hospitals and treatment centers receive increasing numbers of new patients around the clock.

Media reports quoted the Federal Ministry of Health as saying that 15 people had died in Gezira State, which borders Khartoum. Meanwhile, community activists confirmed the death of about 80 people in the Gedaref region.

Sources told Sky News Arabia that the number of cases is likely to be much higher than the announced number. Because many patients face difficulties in conducting the necessary laboratory tests and resort directly to taking doses of malaria, which is widespread in Sudan and whose symptoms are somewhat similar to those of dengue fever.

Dengue fever is a viral disease; It is transmitted to humans through the bites of female mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti species. Infectious carrier.

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Symptoms of the disease

According to the World Health Organization, although most cases of dengue fever are asymptomatic, or may be accompanied by mild symptoms; It appears as an influenza-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults.

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In addition to dengue fever, malaria continues to put great pressure on the health system in Sudan. Data from the World Health Organization indicate that about 2.7 million people, or approximately 5 percent of the country’s population, will be infected with malaria during the year 2022.

Repercussions of the war
Specialists attribute the increasing spread of fevers in the recent period to environmental deterioration resulting from war, which has caused widespread administrative neglect, a large accumulation of waste, and the spread of stagnant and polluted water, which constitutes a fertile environment for the breeding of mosquitoes, flies, and other disease vectors.

According to Abdel Majid Ahmed, a public health specialist in the Sudanese Ministry of Health, the accumulation of waste constitutes the largest incubator for fever vectors in Sudan.

Ahmed told Sky News Arabia that the administrative deterioration led to the inability to properly deal with the waste problem, which he pointed out causes health disasters that may worsen further, costing the state huge sums of money.

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Many areas of Sudan are witnessing a significant deterioration in environmental health, with most bodies and organizations working in the field of environmental sanitation halted due to the war.

Since mosquitoes are the main vector of the disease; The proximity of the breeding sites of the transmitting mosquitoes to human habitation is one of the most dangerous and important factors for dengue fever.

Many of the country’s cities suffer from the accumulation of water in the streets and residential neighborhoods due to the repercussions of the war and the aging of drinking water distribution networks, amid fears of it mixing with sewage.

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Journalist Musab Brier, who is interested in environmental and health aspects, points out that the escalation of fever infections highlights the dilapidated health system in Sudan, which the World Health Organization has acknowledged lacks the necessary infrastructure to monitor diseases.

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Health breakdown

Fears of the current wave of fevers are exacerbated in light of the continued collapse of the health sector and the inability of patients to pay the treatment bill, which has multiplied over the past months by about 10 times in hospitals and government health centers, of which reports indicate that more than 80 percent of them have been completely or partially out of service during the months. past.

Experts expect the health situation to become more critical due to the difficult conditions resulting from the war and the high rates of poverty in Sudan, which reach more than 50 percent of the country’s population of about 40 million people.

The death toll among those suffering from chronic and infectious diseases is increasing at an alarming rate in Sudan. The tragedy of the lack of life-saving medicines embodies one of the ugliest aspects of the ongoing war between the army and the Rapid Support Forces in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, for more than 5 months.

Local and international organizations and bodies warned of a major humanitarian catastrophe due to the lack of medicine.

Hospitals in a number of cities in the country are living in very difficult conditions in light of the massive shortage of health personnel, irregular payment of wages, and constant power outages. Amid fears of a complete collapse of the health system in light of the outbreak of epidemics.

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In fact, hundreds of Sudanese die every day due to lack of medicine, or inability to reach hospitals. According to medical sources, the number of those who lost their lives due to lack of treatment and lack of medicine exceeds the number of those killed in the war, which stands at about 5,000 so far.

Many residents also face difficulties in saving the money necessary to cover the costs of treatment and medicine, especially with the decline in family income by about 60 percent after the outbreak of war.

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Worrying data

41 pharmaceutical companies and more than 90 percent of pharmaceutical factories have stopped working completely since the outbreak of war in Sudan in mid-April. 80 percent of the diseases recorded in Sudanese hospitals are related to environmental factors, or due to problems resulting from water pollution. The current wave of dengue fever comes in light of great fears of the collapse of the health sector, and the inability of patients to pay the treatment bill, which has increased more than 10 times in government hospitals.

2023-09-25 10:01:13

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