News / Africa

Sudan Begins Emergency Vaccinations to Fight Yellow Fever Outbreak

Staff members of the Teaching Hospital receive the first vaccination treatment for yellow fever in El Geneina, West Darfur, November 14, 2012 handout.Staff members of the Teaching Hospital receive the first vaccination treatment for yellow fever in El Geneina, West Darfur, November 14, 2012 handout.
x
Staff members of the Teaching Hospital receive the first vaccination treatment for yellow fever in El Geneina, West Darfur, November 14, 2012 handout.
Staff members of the Teaching Hospital receive the first vaccination treatment for yellow fever in El Geneina, West Darfur, November 14, 2012 handout.
Lisa Schlein
GENEVA — Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health is organizing an emergency mass vaccination campaign against mosquito-borne yellow fever in the Darfur region. The latest figures from the World Health Organization put the number of suspected cases of yellow fever at 732, including 165 deaths.  

This is the worst yellow fever epidemic to strike Africa in two decades. The last outbreak 20 years ago, also was in Sudan. At that time, 604 cases, with 156 deaths were reported in South Kordofan state, the epicenter of the disease. Given the number of cases and deaths reported in Darfur, the World Health Organization notes the current epidemic already has surpassed the last one.  
 
WHO reports the emergency-response vaccination campaign will cover 5.5 million people. It is being conducted in three phases. The first phase of the campaign began November 21 to cover 2.2 million people in 12 districts with the highest number of cases.  

Targeting Cities

The second phase of the campaign aims to reach 1.2 million people and is to start next week. Vaccines are due to arrive in Sudan on Sunday and will cover urban areas.
 
WHO Representative in Sudan, Dr. Anshu Banerjee, said people in urban areas are more vulnerable to getting Yellow Fever than are people in rural areas. He explained this is because the disease is quickly transmitted from mosquitoes to humans in the cities, whereas in the rural areas, monkeys are the reservoir of the virus and the spread is slower.  
 
Banerjee said an additional 2.2 million people will be vaccinated in a third round in all other districts where positive cases are found.
 
“The challenges mainly are to reach the remote areas, partly because of transportation - no roads, etcetera, and also because of insecurity, because of high risk of hijacking of cars, etcetera," said Banerjee. "So, transport modalities, which are being used now are like using donkeys to transport vaccines, which takes about eight to 10 hours for people to transport vaccines to remote areas.”

Nomads hit hard

Banerjee said most of the cases of Yellow Fever are among nomads, which is why the epidemic is spreading so widely throughout Darfur.  
 
He said Darfur, which was inundated with heavy rains, became a massive breeding ground for mosquitoes during the past year. He said the mosquitoes became infected from the monkeys in the forest and, in turn, have been affecting the human population.  
“There are also areas where we have mines and where there are migrant laborers coming from Chad, etcetera. So, one of the important issues also to cover this outbreak in Darfur is to make sure that it doesn’t spread to other countries, like South Sudan and Chad, and also to make sure that it stays well within Darfur, within Sudan, because the vector is available throughout Sudan.”  
 
Yellow Fever is a hemorrhagic disease. There is no cure. Bleeding can be managed by blood transfusions. Otherwise, the disease can be contained through the use of bed nets, insect repellent and the wearing of long clothes. The most effective preventive measure is vaccination.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid