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Sudan: vaccinating livestock and improving primary health care

10-08-2009 Operational Update

The ICRC provides health care, seed and farming tools for over half a million people affected by the conflict in Darfur

  Vaccinating livestock in North Darfur  

In cooperation with the Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries (MARF), the ICRC completed the first round of an animal vaccination campaign in Dar es Salaam and Kilimandu, North Darfur.

  ©ICRC/M. Ungaro/sd-e-02374    
Northern Darfour, Kutum area, Al Dor village. A camel being treated during the ICRC vaccination campaign.    
    " More than 70,000 camels, sheep and goats have been vaccinated against four dangerous diseases in the two localities, " explained ICRC veterinarian Dr Suleiman Hassan Suleiman.

The animals belong to pastoralist communities in Dar es Salaam and Kilimandu, and to internally displaced people (IDPs) from South Darfur they are hosting.

To implement the campaign, the ICRC trained 16 local animal-health workers. MARF also appointed two veterinary doctors and four technicians to support the campaign.

" Dar es Salaam and Kilimandu are situated in a priority area for the ICRC animal vaccination programme, " said Delvin Walker, the ICRC delegate in charge of the vaccination team. " No other humanitarian aid organizations are helping herding communities in the area. "

Once the current campaign is finished, those taking part will move back to the area of Al-Genena, in West Darfur, to resume the vaccination campaign started there in May and June.

The ICRC is cooperating with MARF to vaccinate 850,000 animals in remote nomadic areas of the three Darfur states – 500,000 in North Darfur alone – by the end of 2009.

  Strengthening primary health care in remote Darfur  

The town of Fase, in remote West Darfur state, will soon have a new clinic. With ICRC support, the local community is building a new health-care centre on the site of an old, decrepit brick house that had served as a clinic since the 1970s.

The ICRC started building the facility nearly two months ago. " The old structure collapsed some time back, " explained Judith Barasa, ICRC health delegate in Zalingi. " For a while, the nurse in charge of the centre was treating people a nd dispensing medicines from his own house. "

Construction has now reached its final phase, with doors and windows being installed. The project is expected to be completed in August if the rainy season and road conditions do not restrict access to the site.

" We added a room to accommodate patients traveling from far away villages to the clinic, " said Michel Gentilini, the ICRC engineer responsible for building the clinic.

Since 2007 the ICRC has been supporting the clinic, serving an estimated 12,000 people from Fase and the surrounding area, by providing a monthly supply of medicines and by topping up salaries for six staff members.

There are no trained midwives in the region and the death rate among pregnant women and newborns is reported to be high. With ICRC support, three women from the Fase area will soon be trained as midwives. They are expected to return to their communities after a one-year training course and help reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.

The clinic has been treating malaria, respiratory diseases, diarrhoea and other ailments. It has also been providing preventive health services such as antenatal care and vaccinating children and pregnant women free of charge.

The total number of consultations in the clinic is expected to increase by several hundred a month. Health services are currently being provided in a tent erected by the ICRC as a temporary measure until the new building is ready.

  Assisting over half a million people in Darfur  

The ICRC's economic security programme aims to help vulnerable people in remote rural areas of Darfur and the rest of Sudan. Its largest project has been the distribution of seed and tools in the three Darfur states.

The project is intended to help people maintain their traditional livelihood by providing staple and cash crop seed and tools before the main planting season, so that people in rural areas are encouraged to stay in their towns and villages instead of moving to camps for displaced people.

The ICRC is also vaccinating livestock and providing emergency help for displaced people and returnees, essential items for more than 130,000 displaced people in Gereida camp and nutritional support for their children.

The ICRC has distributed seed and tools to some 300,000 people in Darfur so far this year. Returnees and people affected by armed confrontations in Muhajiriyah and Shai’riyah localities in South Darfur are among those who have received aid.

  • More than 342,000 people received seed and tools between January and June.

  • Almost 167,000 people received essential items, clean water and sanitation services in Gereida camp.

  • Over 7,000 people received fishing kits, donkey carts and water drums.

  • Over 1,000 people received fuel-efficient stoves.

  • A total of 55 women were trained to make cooking fuel out of dung-cakes.

  • Over 18,000 children and women at risk received preventative, supplementary or therapeutic nutritional support.

  • Around 120,000 cows, sheep, goats and camels were immunized against five animal diseases.

  • In all, more than 579,000 people in Sudan have received assistance so far this year.

  Detainee handover  

On 20 July, the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdel Wahid faction (SLA/AW) released a Sudanese police officer it had captured and handed him over to the ICRC in east Jabal Marra, West Darfur. The ICRC then handed him over to the Sudanese authorities.

The police officer had been detained for three years. The ICRC visited him on several occasions prior to his release in order to assess the conditions of his detention. The organization also facilitated the exchange of news between the detainee and his family through Red Cross messages.

" The ICRC had recently visited the detainee and appealed to SLA/AW to release him on humanitarian grounds so he could receive proper medical treatment in a health facility, " said Susana Lopez, an ICRC delegate in Sudan. " The SLA/AW asked the ICRC to serve as a neutral intermediary in the transfer of the detainee to the Sudanese authorities. "

The handover came only a day after 55 Sudan armed forces personnel and five police officers released by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) were transferred to the Sudanese authorities in Kutum, North Darfur, under ICRC auspices.

The ICRC helps with practical arrangements for detainee handovers when the parties request it to do so in order to uphold the respect and dignity of those concerned.

  For further information, please contact:
  Saleh Dabbakeh, ICRC Khartoum, tel: +249 91 213 77 64 or +249 1 83 476 464
  Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17