Sudan: WHO warns of “extremely, extremely dangerous” situation as fighters occupy laboratory holding samples of deadly disease

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The World Health Organization warned Tuesday of an “extremely, extremely dangerous” situation developing in Sudan where fighting forces have taken over a national public laboratory storing samples of dangerous, contagious diseases, including polio, cholera, and measles, CBS News reports.

It was unclear which of the two currently warring factions – the Sudanese Army or the RSF paramilitary group – had occupied the lab.

In a statement Tuesday,  Nima Saeed Abid, the WHO representative in Sudan, said fighters had “kicked out all the technicians from the lab… which is completely under the control of one of the fighting parties as a military base,” CBS News reports. 

Abid said he was informed of the situation in a phone call from the head of the national lab on Monday, a day before a US-brokered 72-hour ceasefire between the warring factions took effect.

“There is a huge biological risk associated with the occupation of the central public health lab,” Abid warned. “In addition to chemical hazards, bio-risk hazards are also very high due to lack of functioning generators,” he added.

WHO has confirmed there were 14 attacks on healthcare facilities during the current fighting; eight people were killed, and two were injured, CBS reports. The UN health agency also warned that “depleting stocks of blood bags risk spoiling due to lack of power.”

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