Residents of Saraf Omra locality in North Darfur are complaining about the high incidence of death and infections caused by fever, diarrhea and abdominal chest pain, they told Radio Dabanga on Monday, 24 December.
They said that particularly the fever is accompanied by vomiting and headache.
Dr. Shafie Abdalshafi, on his turn, declared that people tend to confuse symptoms of yellow fever with cases only related to diarrhea and vomiting. Abdalshafi is the head of the emergency team investigating the emergence of yellow fever at the Saraf Omra hospital and denied that new cases have been diagnosed recently.
Nevertheless, the doctor told Radio Dabanga that another emergency team has arrived at the locality from El-Fasher on Sunday. He explained the team will join the medical group already stationed in the area “to complete epidemiological investigation into cases and complaints of local citizens”.
According to Abdalshafi, the results of the investigation will be included in a medical report that will be submitted to the ministry of health of North Darfur.
On a related event, several Saraf Omra residents have also complained to Radio Dabanga about the scarcity of health care and medicine in the locality.
They said that the high price of medicines is forcing them to use traditional herbs for treatment, while noting that they must pay at least 30 Sudanese pounds (SDG) for drugs.
In addition, a doctor’s visit costs five SDG and a medical check-up 45 SDG, citizens claimed.
At the same time, a statement by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) claimed the organization vaccinated 750.000 people against yellow fever in Darfur in collaboration with the Sudanese federal ministry of health.
The first phase of the campaign reportedly targeted 2.2 million people and ended on December 4, 2012. It was launched by the Sudanese health authorities and the MSF brought medical and logistical assistance, it was stated.
According to the MSF, it supported the campaign in five localities in North and Central Darfur, including Saraf Omra, El-Seraif, Wadi Saleh, Azum, and Zalingei.
“We had very little time to prepare,” said MSF’s Kevin Coppock. “Fortunately, this year we set up an emergency response program. Within 24 hours we were able to mobilize emergency teams, drugs and medical supplies.”
The organization claims it is currently tending to 68 patients suspected of having yellow fever in North Darfur.