Highlighting the fight against vector-borne diseases in Sudan

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Khartoum, 11 May 2014 – Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the fight against vector-borne diseases emphasizing the serious threats to communities during a gathering of the country’s diplomatic corps, government officials, health partners and representatives from media agencies/organizations.

“Only a strong collaboration between different sectors can address the issues of controlling vectors and protecting people from diseases. Partnerships between ministries of health, agriculture, localities, academic institutions, health partners, as well as communities should be initiated or strengthened to implement an integrated vector management approach,” says Mr Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, the Federal Minister of Health.

Vector-borne diseases are infectious diseases spread by intermediate organisms, such as insects and snails, that transmit viruses, parasites and bacteria to humans. These diseases cause a high burden of illness and death for individuals, their families and communities.

During the event, an exhibition explained the processes used in controlling small organisms that cause diseases, such as mosquitoes, flies and other insects. In addition, guests were also oriented on the types of interventions that are conducted in the field to protect communities from vector-borne diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and trachoma.

“There are things people can do to protect themselves: keeping the environment clean, using personal protection, sleeping under bednets, covering water containers and getting rid of stagnant water. These simple measures can save lives,” says Dr Anshu Banerjee, WHO Representative in Sudan.
Some 200 partners and guests joined the event, one of the many activities organized by WHO and the Federal Ministry of Health to celebrate World Health Day 2014 in the country, aimed at increasing awareness and soliciting support from different partners in various sectors.