SUDAN WATCH: Red Crescent Monitors HIV Rates in Eastern Sudan

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Red Crescent Monitors HIV Rates in Eastern Sudan

SPEAKING to SRS at Wad Sharifay refugee camp on the outskirts of Kassala town on Wednesday, the Health Coordinator of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, Dr. Badaradeen Badawi Mohammed, says that out of 600 tested people only 3 cases of HIV infection were reported. Full report here below.

Red Crescent Monitors HIV Rates in Eastern Sudan
From Sudan Radio Service (SRS) on Thursday, 18 February 2010:
(Wad Sharifay) - The Sudanese Red Crescent Society says that the rate of HIV infection in the refugees’ camps in Eastern Sudan is lower than the rates of towns like Kassala.

Speaking to SRS at Wad Sharifay refugee camp on the outskirts of Kassala town on Wednesday, the Health Coordinator of the Sudanese Red Crescent Society, Dr. Badaradeen Badawi Mohammed, says that out of 600 tested people only 3 cases of HIV infection were reported.

[Dr. Badaradeen Badawi Mohamed]: “At the VCT centre here more than 600 people have come to us and there are only three cases that were positive. There is cooperation between us and the Ministry of Health. If there are cases that need solutions, for example, a person may need antiretroviral drugs, we would refer them to the teaching hospital in Kassala where they receive treatment regularly. In fact now we need to carry out a survey in order to know the magnitude of the problem. Also we have a surveillance program where pregnant women come to the clinic and we take their blood samples and send it to the Federal Ministry of Health in order to test and record the rate of infection and truly we found out also that the rate was much lower than one percent in our camps. The rate of infection in camps is lower than in the city.”

Dr. Badawi denied accusations that the presence of refugees in Eastern Sudan is the cause of high rates of HIV prevalence in Kassala state.

[Dr. Badaradeen Badawi Mohamed]: “It is not true because refugees have been in camps years before HIV and AIDS were discovered. These refugees have been here in this area for more than thirty years. So they have been here before the disease was discovered but there are indicators among recent refuges and there was a need to carry out a survey amongst them in order to find out the prevalence rate. Of course the prevalence rate of HIV in Eritrea is higher than Sudan. Perhaps the new arrivals may have an impact but there is supposed to be an additional program for the new arrivals of refugees and they are now at the Shagarab area. There is an awareness programs and condoms are available at Shagarab."

He said the World Bank supports the HIV and AIDS awareness campaign amongst refugees in camps in Eastern Sudan through the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, IGAD.

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