Egyptian medical convoy in Sudan (Photo: Al-Ahram)
An Egyptian medical team has so far examined 12,654 Sudanese people since it has started its temporary mission on 11 September, said Egypt's health minister Hala Zayed.
The convoy's mission comes in the wake of flash floods that devastated homes and left hundreds of thousands homeless in Sudan.
The medical convoy was sent as per President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s directives to provide full support to those affected by heavy rains and floods in Sudan.
Five agricultural engineers sprayed 25 areas in Sudan with insecticides against mosquitoes to curb the potential spread of epidemics, including Malaria, Ministry of Health Spokesman Khaled Megahed said on Monday.
The move comes two weeks after Osama Abdul-Rahim, Sudan’s health minister-designate anticipated the emergence of epidemics in the country, especially cholera and malaria, due to floods.
He also referred to the epidemics the country suffered from during last year’s fall, including malaria, chikungunya fever, dengue fever, rift valley fever which can be transmitted to people via infected mosquitoes, as well as cholera, a bacterial disease usually caused by contaminated water.
At the request of Sudan, the Egyptian medical team will stay for an additional week, until 26 September, Megahed said, adding that the team received 1,384 Sudanese people on the first day of the extended period.
Four ophthalmologists have joined the convoy, due to the scarcity of doctors in this specialty in Sudan, Megahed added.
Egypt earlier launched an air bridge with Sudan, as per El-Sisi’s directives, to transfer medical aid to Sudan. Five planes took off from Egypt carrying more than 22 tons of aid, including infants’ milk and necessary medicine, as well as 25 tons of medical and relief supplies for flood victims, the health ministry said.
Sudan floods, due to heavy rains especially in neighbouring Ethiopia, caused the Nile level to rise to an unprecedented level since 1912, according to Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok,resulting in the death of dozens of people. Water has started to recede, however.
Egypt has been on high alert due to floods in the nighbouring country as Nile water flows from Sudan to Egypt.
Egypt expects a higher-than-average annual Nile flood. The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources continues to remove building violations on Nile waterways to allow water networks to contain excessive water, but it has reassured the people that the Aswan Dam in Upper Egypt, as well as barrages on the northern branches of the River Nile, will help contain the water.