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Thursday, 14 September 2017 04:32

As the death toll climbs in Sudan, officials shy away from the 'cholera' label

Written by  Glenn Kessler

It's rate to have two U.S. agencies that report to the same person disagree. But this a matter of international politics. (Meg Kelly/The Washington Post)

“As of July 7, health actors had recorded more than 23,200 cases of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) since August 2016, according to the U.N.

World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of Sudan (GoS) Ministry of Health (MoH).” — U.S. Agency for International Development, fact sheet, July 27, 2017

“The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum informs U.S. citizens that there are confirmed reports of cholera cases in some areas of Sudan, including the greater Khartoum metropolitan area, that have resulted in fatalities.” — U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, emergency message, June 1

The State Department and USAID are related agencies, both reporting to the secretary of state, but there is an odd disconnect in how they have described a looming public health emergency in the African country of Sudan. The embassy declared that there were “confirmed reports” of cholera that have killed people, whereas USAID, citing the World Health Organization and the Sudanese government, said there were cases of “acute watery diarrhea,” known in medical circles as AWD.

What’s going on here?

The Facts

According to the WHO, there are three types of diarrhea: acute watery diarrhea, which lasts several hours or days; acute bloody diarrhea, also called dysentery; and persistent diarrhea, which lasts 14 days or longer.

Read more at WashingtonPost

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