Outbreak update – Cholera in Sudan, 28 September 2019
01 October 2019 – The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) in Sudan announced a cholera outbreak on 9 September 2019 in the state of the Blue Nile that was followed by cholera cases reported from the state of Sinnar as well. Since the announcement a total of 215 suspected cases of cholera were reported including 8 deaths, which is equivalent to a case fatality rate (CFR) of 3.72% in the two states.
Seven localities are affected, reporting cholera cases on a regular basis. These localities are: Elroseires (90), Eldamazin (47), Wad Almahi (03) and Bau (02) in Blue Nile state, and Abu Hugar (59), Alsoky (10) and Sinja (04) in Sinnar state. From these total reported cases 42 samples have been collected and analysed at the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) in Khartoum, with 18 samples coming out positive for Vibrio Cholerae by culture test. The reported cases mostly fall within the age range of 5 to 45 years, with 61% being female compared to 39% male.
The federal and state level ministries of health are responding to control and limit the spread of this outbreak with the support of WHO and other partners. Fourteen cholera treatment centres (CTCs) are established, 4 in Blue Nile state and 10 in Sinnar state. WHO has prepositioned 25 cholera kits and 5000 rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) to Sudan for outbreak response support. Standard guidelines for case management, laboratory and infection prevention and control (IPC) were shared with the CTCs. Formal and on-the-job training is also being provided to the healthcare workforce.
In response to water quality monitoring, 341 samples have been collected and analysed with free chlorine residual (FCR) found to be below standard levels at the end-user. Intensive activities are ongoing related to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), social mobilization and community engagement, with awareness raising messages being disseminated through all available means.
Reactive oral cholera vaccine (OCV) campaigns have been planned as part of the response efforts. These campaigns will be implemented over two rounds covering a target population of 1.65 million people in the affected areas, each to receive two doses. The first round will start during the third week of October 2019.
WHO continues to provide leadership and supports the health authorities and partners in activities to mitigate the outbreak. WHO and the FMoH continue to monitor outbreak trends through the sentinel site surveillance system and promptly investigate and respond to all alerts.