UN agencies, mainly WHO and UNICEF, are working with the authorities in Sudan to protect more than one million people from cholera, an infectious disease, which can kill within hours if left untreated.
So far, there have been 215 confirmed cases, including eight deaths, since an outbreak was declared in Blue Nile state on September 8.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN children’s fund, UNICEF, will support an oral cholera vaccination campaign aimed at covering 1.6 million people there and in neighboring Sinnar state.
The first round is expected to start in mid-October, targeting everyone above one year of age, including pregnant and lactating women.
“Sudan has bad health infrastructure and a dilapidated safe water and sewage system. Re-occurring floods have further led to polluting water sources. All of these factors heighten the risk of cholera and other diarrheal diseases and threaten to cause a wide spread if no immediate response interventions are not adopted”, WHO Spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said in Geneva on Tuesday.
WHO, alongside UN agencies and local and international partners, also are preparing to respond to potential outbreaks in six other at-risk states in Sudan.
Some $10 million to $15 million will be needed to contain the outbreak in the coming months to address issues such as health, safe water, safe nutrition and access to quality care services, in addition to mobilizing communities and youth.