Sudan continues to suffer from avoidable morbidity and mortality due to multiple outbreaks of communicable diseases. From 2006 to 2011, main disease outbreaks were measles, diphtheria, yellow fever, watery diarrhoea, bacterial meningitis, Rift Valley fever, Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, gastroenteritis due to E. coli, dengue fever and viral hepatitis.
All aspects of outbreak control (surveillance, case management, health education, vector control, vaccination and inter-cluster coordination) continue to remain challenges mainly due to limited financial support and trained human resources. Inadequate water and sanitation systems, and weak hygiene practices remain major challenges in the prevention of waterborne diseases.
There are two surveillance systems in Sudan: the national sentinel surveillance system that covers all Sudan's population; and the Early Warning and Alert Response Surveillance (EWARS) that covers the internally-displaced population in Darfur. The reporting flow is well-organized from health facilities to locality, state and federal level.
In 2011, more than 1500 health facilities reported on 22 communicable diseases and on weekly basis, in a standard form. By end of 2011, the average reporting rate recorded in EWARS was 86.5%, slightly higher than 83.5% in 2010. WHO has been supporting the system through training, updating guidelines and forms, providing telecommunication support and with supervisory visits in the field.
Major activities of the communicable disease surveillance and response programme in 2012 include:
expansion of digitized communicable diseases surveillance system
introduction of biosafety level 3 at the Central Public Health Laboratory
implementation of International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 plans for Sudan
mobilization of funds.