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EL MEIRAM - 24 Mar 2024

Cases of watery diarrhoea reported in West Kordofan

A refugee camp holding thousands of displaced persons in the western part of Sudan- (Courtesy)
A refugee camp holding thousands of displaced persons in the western part of Sudan- (Courtesy)

Displaced persons fleeing fighting in the town of Babanusa in West Kordofan State have reported cases of watery diarrhoea and vomiting among children and adults at a displaced camp in El Meiram town.

During a tour of the El Meiram centre by Radio Tamazuj on Friday, several conflict-displaced families said worsening sanitary conditions inside the camp were to blame for the spread of diseases. They also cited the presence of snakes and insects at the centre.

Buthaina Hamad Hamdan, a displaced person in El Meiram town, said that since they arrived in El Meiram a month ago, cases of watery diarrhoea among children have been on the rise. She stated that the disease also affected the elderly, resulting in many cases of exhaustion among them.

"The hospital does not operate at night, and there are no doctors at the hospital, forcing us to go to private clinics where the treatment costs are very high, and displaced persons cannot afford treatment there," she said.

She further said eight cases have so far been reported inside the centre and blamed it on a poor health environment, which she said is unsuitable for habitation due to the spread of poisonous snakes and insects.

Displaced person Alaa Al-Nour Suleiman said she is currently suffering from watery diarrhoea. 

"Most cases of watery diarrhoea appear in the evening, and the hospital closes in the evening, and displaced persons cannot afford the cost of treatment at private clinics due to the high treatment bills," Al-Nour said.

"The invasion by flies is yet another cause of the diseases among the displaced," she added.

Meanwhile, Displaced person Waseem Hamdan emphasized that despite the spread of watery diarrhoea, there is no comprehensive healthcare for the displaced, exacerbating their health conditions. 

Waseem called on international health organizations to urgently intervene to save the lives of children and the elderly at the centre.

The war between army chief Abdel Fattah Burhan and his former deputy and RSF commander, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, has plunged Sudan into "one of the worst humanitarian nightmares in recent history", according to UN officials, who also warn it may trigger the world's largest hunger crisis. The UN's children's agency, Unicef, says that some communities in Sudan have been pushed to the brink of famine.

The conflict has also created the world's worst displacement crisis, scattering more than 8 million people internally and across Sudan's borders. Nearly 2 million people have fled into neighbouring countries to escape the fighting, putting mounting pressure on Chad and South Sudan.