Bilharzia on the rise in Darfur

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KHARTOUM (7 May) - The Federal Ministry of Health revealed on Tuesday that the Darfur states are on the list of Sudanese states most stricken by schistosomiasis (bilharzia).

In particular the population of South Darfur is suffering from the disease. Bilharzia there has risen by 70 percent, which brings it to an equal level with the state of North Kordofan. “The mortality rates due to schistosomiasis are very high,” an official of the Health Ministry reported to the press on Tuesday.

There are no states in Sudan free of bilharzia.

Fresh water

Schistosomiasis is a type of infection caused by parasites that live in fresh water, such as rivers or lakes, in subtropical and tropical regions worldwide. Symptoms can develop a few weeks after someone is infected, and include flu-like symptoms, such as a fever and muscle aches, skin rash, and coughing.

More serious symptoms can develop months, and possibly years, after infection, and include cystitis, blood in the urine, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain or cramps, vomiting blood, and paralysis of the legs. Doctors refer to this as chronic schistosomiasis.