Sudan: Humanitarian Bulletin | Issue 27 | 4 – 17 December 2017 [EN/AR]
- Sudan Federal Ministry of Health reports an increase in the number of dengue fever cases across the country.
- Some 1,500 Sudanese refugees set to voluntarily return to South Darfur from the Central African Republic.
- Poor health, water and sanitation conditions reported in Foro Baranga locality, West Darfur.
- South Sudanese refugee number amended upwards to include pre-December 2013 figure.
- # people in need in Sudan (2017 HNO): 4.8 million
- # people in need in Darfur (2017 HNO): 3 million
- GAM caseload (2017 HNO): 2.2 million
- South Sudanese refugees - total: 812,600
- South Sudanese refugees - pre-2013: 352,500
- South Sudanese refugees - post-2013: 460,100
- Other refugees and asylum seekers, UNHCR (30 June 2017): 167,784
137 dengue fever cases reported across Sudan
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) in Sudan has recently reported an increase in the number of suspected dengue fever cases during the period 2 October to 8 December 2017.
A total of 137 suspected cases, including three deaths, were reported from Khartoum, Kassala, East and West Darfur, South Kordofan, Red Sea, River Nile and Gezira states over this period. The highest number of cases (118 suspected cases with no associated deaths) was reported in Kassala, likely related to strong case detection and management capacity by the State Ministry of Health (SMoH). Out of 49 blood samples taken from Kassala and Khartoum, 40 tested positive for Dengue (39 from Kassala, 1 from Khartoum).
In response, FMoH, SMoH and WHO activated the response plan, including by distributing mosquito repellents to 10,000 school children in Kassala and volunteers, and visiting 2,500 houses to raise awareness about indoor vector control activities. In order to contain the current suspected outbreak in the country, the FMoH has actively worked to strengthen surveillance for early detection of suspected cases as well as strengthen entomological surveillance and vector control measures. Additionally, partners have agreed on standardized case definition and the distribution of guidelines and protocols. Risk communication should play a major role in the community to increase awareness about protective measures needed to reduce exposure to mosquito bites.
The last outbreak of dengue fever in Sudan was reported in 2014 in Red Sea State, with 738 cases reported, including six associated deaths. Red Sea State has been affected by dengue fever since 2003. The worst outbreak in Sudan, so far, was in 2010, with 4,008 cases and 12 deaths reported, according to the WHO’s most recent Epidemiological Monitor.
Dengue fever is transmitted through the bite of infected the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same species that transmits yellow fever. With similar symptoms to malaria, such as febrile conditions, and head ache, characteristic of dengue fever is a skin rash and lethargy. Generally lasting seven days, it manifests after a 14-day incubation period after the mosquito bite. It affects infants, young children and adults, and seldom causes death, but may evolve in a small sample of cases to a life-threatening haemorrhagic fever. Recovery from infection provides lifelong immunity against the virus.