The situation in Darfur is still tense: there is continuous fighting between Sudan Liberation Army and government troops and violence against the refugees inside and outside the camps. Due to the cold season, patients are increasingly suffering from acute respiratory diseases and diarrhoea; and small children and pregnant women face malnutrition. The population is very susceptible to diseases as the immunisation rate remains low.
To improve health care in the project areas in northern Darfur, Malteser International is regularly implementing immunisation campaigns. By the end of November, our teams had vaccinated more than 16,000 children against polio. The campaign was implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). A measles prevention immunisation campaign arranged in cooperation with WHO will benefit 15,500 local children.
At the request of UNICEF, Malteser International will also support a campaign against lack of iodine for children and pregnant women in its project areas in northern Darfur.
Focus on epidemic prevention
Since summer 2004, Malteser International has been providing basic health care services for 80,000 people in the rural areas in the south of El Fasher, the provincial capital of northern Darfur. In addition to the regular supply of drugs and medical equipment, Malteser International focuses on epidemic prevention (malaria, measles, polio), training for the local medical staff, continuous routine immunisation and the rehabilitation of basic health care structures.