Yellow fever outbreak in Sudan: Europe ready to help

Nairobi, 26 November 2012 – An outbreak of yellow fever in the Sudanese region of Darfur has alerted the international health community. The Sudanese government has recently notified the outbreak to the World Health Organisation (WHO). So far 459 suspected cases have been reported with 116 deaths. Sudan, with WHO support, has launched a massive vaccination campaign to immunize 2.4 million people.

The European Commission has humanitarian experts on the ground who are following the situation closely. The yellow fever outbreak already affects four states in Sudan: Central, South, West and North Darfur.

Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response said: "I wish to express my solidarity with the people of Darfur, and of Sudan more generally, as well as with all agencies and humanitarian partners who are working tirelessly to fight this outbreak.

To ensure that all people at risk are vaccinated, it is essential that all affected areas are covered by the campaign, including those which have been inaccessible to humanitarian agencies in the past.

The European Commission is in contact with the Sudanese authorities, the World Health Organisation and humanitarian partners working in the health sector in Sudan and is contributing to the effort to provide vaccinations to all those at risk."


Yellow fever is a viral haemorrhagic fever transmitted by infected mosquitos. Up to 50% of severely affected patients die if not treated. There is no cure, just the treatment of symptoms. Vaccination is the most important preventive measure against yellow fever.

The European Commission has been supporting life-saving activities in the region of Sudan and South Sudan since the mid-1990s. Funding for 2012 totalled € 127 million so far.

The humanitarian aid includes assistance for internally displaced people, returnees and refugees, providing basic healthcare, clean water, sanitation and food assistance.

A team of humanitarian experts based on the spot works closely with relief organisations, monitoring the situation and use of European funds. The European Commission's partner organisations in Sudan and South Sudan include United Nations agencies, non-governmental organisations and international organisations such as International Organisation for Migration and the International Committee of the Red Cross.