Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Climate change causes spreading of epidemics in Sudan, despite the Global Fund approval

 Harvests failed due to poor availabilitiy of rain, intensified the drought situations with long months of insecurity caused by inter-ethnic clashes, Southern Sudan is in the grip of "kala azar" infection and numbers are increasing at a rate of 80 admissions in the hopsitals in the first week of November. Kala azar a deadly disease also known as visceral leishmaniasis, have continued to rise in Southern Sudan, according to medical workers (IRIN news).

Many are suffering from "kala azar" disease. A scene outside
Malakal Hospital, Upper Nile State, in Southern Sudan.

  The symptoms of kala azar is like malaria, but transmitted by the sand fly, has hit some of the most remote and difficult-to-access regions of Upper Nile and Jonglei states. The life in these areas are also worsened by the recent inter-ethnic clashes. "Many patients were arriving too late at health centres and some die in the same day," reports Seaman.  The disease is almost always fatal within one to four months unless treatment is given, but some 95 percent recover if treated in time, reports IRIN news.

World Health Organisation, which also supports the treatment says in its report that 42 percent of patients were children under five, and 47 percent aged 5-17. Kala azar is endemic in some parts of Southern Sudan and outbreaks occur every 5-10 years. Treatment involves an injection every day for a month - requiring patients to stay near health facilities, which can put enormous pressure on those caring for them.

  The approved US$2.4 billion Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria can be promising to fight against the spreading new diseases which are mostly developed due to increased vulnerability in the midst of climate change effects. "These grants enable countries around the world to address some of the main problems they are struggling with every day," Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopian Health Minister and Chair of the Global Fund Board, said in a press release, as reported by IRIN News.

 The funding facilities should be made available to solve the problems of sudden outbreaks of diseases like Kala azar in Southern Sudan. The funders and their mechanisms become a very rigid process that they always look for long term processing and certain criteria that should be fulfilled, which are never possible to include unexpected outbreaks of health hazards like kala azar. In this context, most of the developing countries bewildered when such outbreaks of diseases hit hard on their bellies. It is very painful that such end receiveers get no help  due to these red tapism followed by the international funders. People need a sudden responding mechanisms which can be on the real time delivery basis, that can bring long term effects in the restoration of public health in third world countries.


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