WHO Southern Sudan Health Update May 2005

Mortality Survey activities have started all over Darfur

Teams consisting of local interviewers together with international and national supervisors have started the mortality survey 2005 on the 28 of May after 2 days training on the survey methodology and interview techniques.

By June 6, already 30% of all 270 clusters of respondents to be interviewed in all of the three Darfur States were finalized.

The interviews and analysis of the data are expected to be completed by the end of June.

Rehabilitation of central laboratory at El Fasher Teaching Hospital

The Central Laboratory of El Fasher Teaching Hospital is operational again after the rehabilitation activities were finalized.

WHO has funded and coordinated the physical rehabilitation of the three main hospitals in Greater Darfur as well as 10 rural hospital, prioritizing triage areas, operating theatres, surgical wards, obstetric wards and delivery rooms, laboratory facilities and blood banks.

Important partners were the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the German NGO Johanniter, and others.

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Joint Proposal for Global Fund to Fight AIDS in Sudan

WHO is providing assistance through three international consultants to the Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM) in the elaboration of the proposal for the 5th Round of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. The proposal will include prevention and treatment interventions such as Blood Safety, Social Marketing of Condoms and the setting up of an efficient Procurement and Supply Management system.

Through the establishment of panels of safe, voluntary blood donors and improvement of clinical practice in blood transfusions, making condoms broadly available at clinics and pharmacies, target AIDS prevention messages at the more vulnerable groups, and by continuously ensuring sufficient good quality HIV/AIDS drugs, the proposal aims at reducing HIV transmission and AIDS mortality.

The CCM consists of all relevant partners in Sudan, who contribute to the Joint Proposal. Similar proposals will be submitted to the Global Fund for Malaria and TB.

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Netherlands Red Cross supports PHC for IDPs in Kassala and Juba

Over the last 4 years the Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC) has supported the Sudanese Red Cross (SRC) in running 7 Primary Health Care (PHC) centers in IDP camps near Kassala, close to the Eritrean border. A water and sanitation project in the same camps has started recently and will run for at least two years.

Many of IDPs in the camps have abandoned their semi nomadic life as they are left without livestock or water resources are not available anymore.

In the Juba area, in South Sudan, 4 PHC centers are run by NLRC and SRC. NLRC aims to increase the total to 10 clinics in a period of 4 years time In West Darfur, NLRC has recently started to rehabilitate the district hospital of Zalingy.

Repairs will be undertaken on the buildings and a new gynecology ward and laboratory will be built. Also there will be major rehabilitation on the nursing school, with the support of the Ministry of Health and the ICRC.

A specific HIV/AIDS program is being planned, in close coordination with SRC and SNAP (National HIV/AIDS program for Sudan).

NLRC's budget for the next two years exceeds 3,5 million euros.

More information: or (Country Representative Willem Reussing).

WHO conducts malaria training in Rumbek, South Sudan

Twenty new trainers were trained in Rumbek, South Sudan in the management of uncomplicated falciparum malaria with focus on Artemisinin based Combination Therapy (Artesunate + Amodiaquine) and Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT).

The trainers all work for NGOs such as ADRA, WR, IRC, WVI, PSF, MALTESER and ACROSS, as well as UNICEF and the County Health Department of Rumbek, who are planning to implement the new Artemisinin based Combination Therapy policy.

A plan of action for training of health workers at the Primary Health Care Units where the participants are working, was one of the outcomes of the training.

The training was part of the Roll Back Malaria Programme.

Roll Back Malaria is an initiative of the World Health Organization and focuses on malaria policy and strategy formulation, operations support and capacity development, and coordination of WHO's global efforts to roll back malaria.

Meningitis vaccination campaign in Abu Seroj, West Darfur

Following confirmation of an outbreak of meningococcal meningitis in Abu Seroj IDP camp in Kulbus locality in West Darfur, a vaccination of the high risk population has started on the 17th of May. Up to date, a total of 12,182 persons were vaccinated, representing 64% coverage of the targeted population of approximately 19,625 persons living in and around the epicenter of the outbreak.

Because of security reasons, the campaign was interrupted, but will be resumed in order to reach the target. Surveillance for early case detection, case management and prevention of spread of the disease have also been stepped up in the area as part of public health response to the outbreak.

The campaign was a joint effort of WHO, UNICEF, the Federal and State Ministries of Health, the NGO Medair and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

WHO will provide eye care for 1.9 million people

WHO will open an eye clinic at El Geneina General Hospital, West Darfur, covering the entire population of the State, including IDPs.

As there has been no eye care for the last 40 years, West Darfur counts a large number of blind cataract cases. Recently the Sudanese Islamic Medical Association in coordination with the International Union of the Medical Islamic Association carried out 1,000 cataracts operations at El Geneina hospital, but the waiting list was too long to treat all patients.

The National Program for Prevention of Blindness of the Federal Ministry of Health is providing one ophthalmologist during 6 months to El Geneina General Hospital. Local medical officers will be trained in ophthalmology at Khartoum Teaching Hospital.

15 eye clinics have already been rehabilitated all over Sudan.

The Right to Sight was launched by WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness together with more than 20 NGOs to help eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020.

PEP Guidelines for HIV prevention finalized soon

The Sudan National Guidelines on the Use of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis in HIV/AIDS Following Sexual Violence are currently under revision before finalisation.

The main objective of these guidelines is to ensure the appropriate and timely provision, as well as the use of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) following sexual violence, that may expose to HIV as a potential method of preventing HIV transmission.

Pathogenesis studies indicate that there may be a window of opportunity to abort HIV infection by inhibiting viral replication following an exposure if the prophylaxis is stated before 48-72 hours.

Review of AFP Surveillance for Detection of Polio Cases

A team of 18 international experts will review the Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) Surveillance in Sudan from 9 to 18 June to verify the sensitivity of the system in detecting Polio cases. The non-polio AFP rate in Sudan is at present above the target at 3.0 and 87% of cases had adequate specimens.

As Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) can be a result of polio, detection and reporting of AFP cases in children under 15 years of age, is used for surveillance of Polio.

The total number of confirmed wild polio cases in Sudan in 2005 is 25 (21 from the North and 4 from the South).

Four rounds of immunization campaigns have been carried out so far in the whole of Sudan; during every campaign vaccinating over 6 million children up to 5 years of age.