According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), a total of 557 suspected dengue fever cases, including 130 deaths, were reported in Sudan between 29 August (when the outbreak started) and 4 December.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

The outbreak had initially affected Darfur but has now spread to Kassala and Kordofan states. According to the MoH, 53 per cent of all reported cases are male and the age group 5 to 14 years has the highest number of cases (45 per cent).

In Darfur, 512 suspected cases—including 125 deaths—were reported in 27 states between 29 August and 4 December. In Kordofan, 40 suspected cases—including four deaths—were reported in the six localities of Abyei, Keilak (West Kordofan), Reif Ashargi, Kadugli, Habila (South Kordofan and Shiekan (North Kordofan) between 17 October and 4 December.

In Kassala state, five suspected cases—including one death—were reported in the state capital Kassala town between 23 and 26 November.

In response, the WHO has sent an epidemiologist to support the MoH in investigation and outbreak response. WHO and the MoH are also preparing to deploy a mini-lab from the Institut Pasteur, Dakar, together with a team of laboratory experts to support field diagnosis and strengthen the capacity of the central public health laboratory in Khartoum.

In West Darfur, the international NGO World Relief ran five mobile clinics and received mosquito nets—to protect from the combined effect of malaria—from the SMoH for distribution in four clinics in Kereinik locality.

Also in the state, WHO and the international NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Switzerland supported a treatment centre in El Geneina. In East Darfur, UNICEF released three primary health care (PHC) kits—enough for the needs of 30,000 people for three months WHO continued to support MoH in integrated vector control activities covering all affected localities in Darfur, Kassala and Kordofan states.

MoH/WHO recommendations include engaging more families and communities in prevention activities such as the elimination of adult mosquitoes by indoor spraying, searching and destroying larva-breeding sites in and around homes to prevent mosquitoes laying egg, sleeping under mosquito nets, wearing protective clothing and using mosquito repellents.

WHO also recommends strengthening surveillance systems by adding more sentinel sites in Kereinik locality—which is the most affected area—and deploying a team to operate the clinic there.

Source: OCHA Sudan Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin