Emergencies preparedness, response

Hepatitis E in Sudan - update 2

8 September 2004

From 22 May - 27 August 2004 a total of 3753 cases and 55 deaths of suspected hepatitis E was reported from health clinics in the Greater Darfur region through the early warning alert and response system (EWARN).

West Darfur remains the most affected area reporting 73% of the total reported cases. There is a slight decrease in the total number of cases reported from South and West Darfur, whilst cases in North Darfur have increased slightly. The preliminary phase of field investigations conducted by Epicentre and EPIET (European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training) to assess the epidemiology of hepatitis E and to focus on the most appropriate prevention and control measures has been completed.

UNICEF has continued to work with federal and state ministries of health and nongovernmental organizations to increase the quality and quantity of the water supply. In West Darfur, Concern Worldwide International has established public health teams and completed the construction of 1000 latrines in Mornei. In the accessible part of South Darfur, WHO has worked closely with the Health and Hygiene Working Group in the area to develop strategies for delivering consistent health messages for community health education in the IDP camps for internally displaced people, particularly targeting pregnant women and other high risk groups.

Despite these efforts, existing resources remain insufficient to cover the basic water and sanitation needs of the displaced populations in Darfur. Additional efforts are still needed improve access to safe, clean water and better sanitation in the camps in order to stop spread and reduce the number of new infections.

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