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"Bell" of the WHO on the situation in Sudan
  • 27 Apr 2023
  • international

The World Health Organization sounded the alarm yesterday regarding Sudan, as a group of militants took control of a laboratory with samples of diseases such as polio and measles, creating an "extremely dangerous" situation.

The WHO representative in Sudan, Nima Said Abid, told reporters that the occupation posed a "huge biological risk". The laboratory also holds samples of yellow fever, diphtheria and West Nile virus.

"Extremely dangerous situation"

As shown in a recent report by NDTV, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued an alert regarding the seizure of a central public laboratory in Sudan by militants in the war-torn country. The lab reportedly holds samples of diseases such as polio and measles, creating an "extremely, extremely dangerous" situation.

The WHO speaks of a huge biological risk

Nima Said Abid, the WHO representative in Sudan, spoke to reporters in Geneva via video link, saying "there is a huge biological risk associated with the seizure of the central public health laboratory ... by one of the warring parties." The situation is particularly worrying as the laboratory is responsible for the control and monitoring of diseases in the country, including possible outbreaks.

"That's the main concern: no accessibility for lab technicians to go into the lab and safely contain the biological material and available substances," he said, declining to specify which side seized the facility.

The WHO is now calling on all parties involved in the conflict to evacuate the laboratory immediately and allow public health officials to continue their work. The organization is also calling on the international community to provide support to help address the situation.

At least 459 dead from the clashes of the last days in Sudan

Clashes between the Sudanese armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Force broke out on April 15 and have killed at least 459 people and injured another 4,072, according to the latest figures from WHO.

The fighting has paralyzed hospitals and other essential services and trapped many in their homes as food and water supplies dwindle.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has been forced to cut back some of its activities in parts of Sudan due to severe conflict.

At least five aid workers have been killed since the fighting broke out and the two UN agencies that have lost staff members, the International Organization for Migration and the World Food Programme, have suspended operations in the country.

"In areas where heavy conflict has hampered our humanitarian operations, we have been forced to reduce our footprint," said OCHA spokesman Jens Lerke. "But we are committed to continue working for the people of Sudan," he added.

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