The Sudanese federal ministry of health (MOH) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) noted in a joint “Situation Report” that the number of cases of the serious mosquito borne viral disease, yellow fever, has reached 849 since Sept. 2012, prompting the MOH to launch a campaign against yellow fever in South, North, East and Central Darfur states in addition to the White Nile, South and North Kordofan, the Federal Minister of Health Bahr Idris Abu Garda announced on Sunday.

Sudan map/CIA
Sudan map/CIA

In addition, approximately 20 percent, or 171 of the cases resulted in death.

The first vaccine shipment of 670,400 doses is scheduled to arrive Sudan on 14 January, while second shipment of 702,000 doses and third shipment of 827,600 doses will be delivered shortly afterwards.

Abu Garda says that the targeted regions have been selected according to epidemiological indicators, adding that the campaign will cover the whole country in the future.

“Death caused by yellow fever in the region during the two recent decades has increased as a result of weakness of immunization among residents of rural areas,” said Abu Garda.

Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The “yellow” in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients. Up to 50% of severely affected persons without treatment will die from yellow fever.

There are an estimated 200 000 cases of yellow fever, causing 30 000 deaths, worldwide each year, with 90% occurring in Africa. The virus is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Latin America, with a combined population of over 900 million people.

The number of yellow fever cases has increased over the past two decades due to declining population immunity to infection, deforestation, urbanization, population movements and climate change.