By Jaya Ramachandran
GENEVA | 8 February 2024 (IDN) — Nearly ten months since the escalation of the conflict in Sudan in April 2023, the humanitarian situation in the country has deteriorated, resulting in the world’s largest displacement crisis. The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on the international community to meet 100% of the US$ 178 million funding request for 2024 to meet the health needs of the highly vulnerable target population.
According to the Sudan Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan for 2024, approximately 15 million individuals require immediate health aid. However, only 4.9 million of the most vulnerable people have been reached by the Health Cluster, driven by WHO.
Conflict, population movements, and access constraints for implementing partners have fragmented the disease surveillance system. This has created serious gaps in health partners’ shared understanding of infectious disease outbreaks and their ability to respond rapidly to such outbreaks.
Since the ongoing cholera outbreak was declared in September 2023, 11 of Sudan’s 18 states have reported cholera, with 10,500 cases and 300 deaths recorded by 31 January 2024. While cases appear to show a decreasing trend overall, the actual number of cases and deaths may be much higher, since surveillance system accuracy is affected by access limitations.
Alongside this, WHO is working on a no-regrets basis to implement an agile and adaptable response given the fluid security situation. WHO is also expanding its capacity for cross-border operations to deliver critical support to implementing artists working in inaccessible and hard-to-reach areas. [IDN-InDepthNews]
Photo: A patient receives care at the cholera treatment centre, Gadarif, in October 2023. The centre admits 46 cases a day on average and has a laboratory and pharmacy to support its operations. Photo credit: WHO/A. Kheir
IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.