Emergencies preparedness, response

Hepatitis E in Sudan - update 3

28 September 2004

From 22 May - 17th September a total of 6861 cases and 87 deaths of suspected hepatitis E was reported from health clinics in the Greater Darfur region through the early warning alert and response system (EWARN). The total number of reported cases per week continues to increase. West Darfur remains the most affected area.

There are ongoing control measures being implemented in the 3 states. Health actors, including the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, Oxfam, Médecins du Monde-France, Médecins sans Frontières-Holland, the United Nations Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC), and International Committee of the Red Cross have been working with WHO to scale up mass hygiene education programmes, increase the availability of soap, dig new wells, and ensure effective chlorination of water bladders and wells. South Darfur has the poorest water and sanitation indicators. WHO is working with the Water and Environmental Sanitation Department (WES) and the State Ministry of Health (SMOH) to develop an Emergency Environmental Health plan for Internally Displaced Persons camps in South Darfur.

Existing resources remain insufficient to cover the basic water and sanitation needs of the displaced populations in Darfur. Additional efforts are still needed to reduce the number of new hepatitis E infections, and prevent the spread of other waterborne diseases.

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