Tropical disease kills 300 in Sudan
Published 11/11/2010 | 11:42
An outbreak of a parasitic tropical disease has killed more than 300 people in Southern Sudan and the worst of the health crisis is yet to come, officials have said.
The World Health Organisation said the outbreak of kala azar began in September 2009 and has intensified in recent months.
More than 7,000 cases have been reported this year.
The parasite that causes the disease, Leishmania donovani, is transmitted through sand flies and attacks the internal organs.
The illness mainly affects children whose immune systems are compromised by malnutrition.
The peak of the outbreak is predicted to come in December or January, coinciding with Southern Sudan's January 9 independence referendum, which is expected to result in the creation of the world's newest country.