Nine people reportedly died of heatstroke over the past three days in the hospital of Wadi Halfa, near the Sudanese-Egyptian border, owing to a heat wave that is sweeping the country.
Mohamed Hassan Shanan, medical director of the Wadi Halfa hospital told reporters on Wednesday, that the authorities have increased electricity supplies to the hospital in order to cover the growing number of patients because of the heatwave. “Nevertheless nine of them died.”
A staff member of the hospital told Radio Dabanga this afternoon that four new cases were brought in today, “in a very bad condition”.
The daily temperature has risen to above 46 degrees Celsius for a week, which makes August the hottest month in the area for years.
The Northern State authorities ordered the closure of all schools in the state for the period of one week. They warned the people to stay at home during the hottest parts of the day and to drink plenty of water.
Bahar Idris Abu Garda, federal Minister of Health, denied reports about the spread of meningitis in Wadi Halfa.
He told reporters during a press conference in Khartoum today that the deaths were “most probably” caused by the heat wave, “resulting from the worldwide climate change”.
The Ministry has sent a medical team to Wadi Halfa to investigate the cases and “take the necessary measures”, he said.
The director of the Ministry's Immunisation Department, Dr Nada Jaafar, affirmed during the press conference that the deaths in Wadi Halfa were not caused by meningitis. “Cases of suspected meningitis are always immediately reported to our department,” she said.
She added that the Ministry has started a vaccination campaign against meningitis in the country among people aged between one and 30-years old.