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

Gun Nation

This is who America's gun owners are More

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs