The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) representative to Sudan, Dr Naeema Al Gaseer, has warned that the risk of cholera spreading in the populous Khartoum state is very real as a campaign to fight the spread of the disease gets underway.

UN medics said eight million people in Khartoum were at risk after 332 suspected cases of the disease and eight deaths were reported by Sudan’s health ministry, mainly in the Blue Nile and Sennar states, since the outbreak on September 2.

Warning of serious consequences if the outbreak was not properly managed Gaseer said dealing with the health crisis was made more difficult by an economic crisis, flooding and other infectious diseases in the area.

At the request of the government, WHO has identified high-risk areas in the state which are more likely to be at increased risk of an outbreak, such as Sharq Elnil and Ombada.

The UN agency has also delivered cholera medicine and hundreds of rehydration tablets, along with 500 rapid diagnostic test kits for use in health facilities. Additionally, community awareness on how to avoid the disease is being spread by over 1,700 volunteers.

Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes cholera, is usually found in food or water contaminated by feces from a person with the infection. Common sources include:

  • Foods and drinks sold by street vendors
  • Vegetables grown with water containing human wastes
  • Raw or undercooked fish and seafood caught in waters polluted with sewage
As as safety measure, experts advice you wash your food thoroughly before consuming it.

The World Health Organisation warns that the risk of cholera spreading in the populous Khartoum state is very real. Video / African News Agency.

African News Agency (ANA)