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WHO expects more deaths in Sudan due to disease outbreaks and a lack of basic services

The World Health Organization (WHO) expects “many more” deaths in Sudan due to disease outbreaks and a lack of basic services amid the fighting, its director-general said on Wednesday.

Fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF) since mid-April has left at least 459 dead and more than 4,000 injured, according to the WHO.

“In addition to the number of deaths and injuries caused by the conflict itself, WHO expects there to be many more deaths from the outbreak, lack of access to food and water, and disruptions to basic health services, including immunization,” the WHO director-general said. said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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Tedros added that only 16% of health facilities are functioning in the Sudanese capital.

“The WHO estimates that one quarter of the lives lost so far could have been saved with access to basic bleeding control. But paramedics, nurses and doctors don’t have access to injured civilians, and civilians don’t have access to services.”

The UN health body was conducting a risk assessment to determine whether the seizure of the laboratory in Khartoum where the pathogens were found posed a risk to public health.

“When laboratory workers are forced to leave the laboratory and untrained people enter the laboratory, there are always risks, but the risk is primarily to those individuals who inadvertently expose themselves to pathogens,” said Mike Ryan, WHO’s head of health. emergency program.

However, the lack of clean water and vaccines, as well as other hygiene issues, posed a major risk to Sudanese, he added.

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