Sudan is facing a huge nationwide outbreak of measles, with at least 2,500 confirmed cases so far this year, mostly children, and 38 deaths due to the disease.
The number of cases reported up to June in 17 of Sudan’s 18 states is more than four times the figure for the whole of last year. In an attempt to stop the deadly outbreak, the government, with support from the UN children’s fund, UNICEF, has launched a campaign to vaccinate 7.9 million children.
The campaign started in the first week of June, targeting parts of eastern Sudan and Khartoum state. The second stage of the campaign, which started Monday, will target the western Darfur region, which is home to 2.5 million people who have been displaced by fighting between the government and rebels since 2003.
Measles is a highly contagious disease that causes a rash and fever, and can lead to complications ranging from brain damage to hearing loss and blindness. In rare cases, it can result in death.