November 26, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - The European Commission says it is ready to help the Sudanese government cope with the recent outbreak of yellow fever, which has reportedly killed at least 116 people in Darfur.
Up to 459 yellow fever cases, officials says, have also been reported in the region as both Sudan, with support from World Health Organization (WHO), launched a massive vaccination campaign to immunise 2.4 million people.
Yellow fever is an incurable viral haemorrhagic fever transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Up to 50 percent of severely affected patients reportedly die if not treated.
The Commission, as part of the campaign, has already deployed humanitarian experts on the ground to monitor the disease outbreak, now affecting the Central, South, West and the Northern parts of the war-torn region.
“I wish to express my solidarity with the people of Darfur, and of Sudan more generally, as well as with all agencies and humanitarian partners who are working tirelessly to fight this outbreak,” said Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
“To ensure that all people at risk are vaccinated, it is essential that all affected areas are covered by the campaign, including those which have been inaccessible to humanitarian agencies in the past,” she added.
Currently, the Commission is in contact with the Sudanese authorities, WHO and the various humanitarian partners working in the health sector in Sudan, to ensure vaccines at provided to all those at risk, explained Georgieva.
Since the mid-1990s, the European Commission has reportedly supported life-saving activities in the region of Sudan and South Sudan, with funding for this year alone earmarked at €127m [US$165m].
The Cairo-based US Naval Medical Research Unit 3 has also travelled to the region to assist with vaccinations as the rare outbreak intensifies.