Sudan has witnessed 265 deaths and more than 16,000 infections of what the government is called “acute watery diarrhea”, however social media users have launched a hashtag to force Khartoum to admit that the country is in the midst of a cholera epidemic and action needs to be taken.
— GaLaXy ☮ (@Gx_AlhaSsaN) May 26, 2017
This graphic meme posted last week says cholera is killing citizens in the White Nile state, but the government insists the deaths are caused by “watery diarrhoea”.
— لِينَة (@NotYourTypaGurl) June 7, 2017
Users have been posting advice and informational videos that illustrate how to combat the disease – some simply express despair: “We’re dying!”
— Mujtaba Ziada (@MujtabaZiada) June 7, 2017
— Khalid Taha (@KhalidmeTaha) June 5, 2017
However, one of the central aims of the twitter hashtag is to alert the attention of international organisations to the effects of the epidemic. Campaigners hope that global health institutions will officially declare the situation in Sudan as an outbreak of “cholera”, which will result in an intervention that will save lives.
Last week, the American embassy issued a statement warning its nationals about the cholera outbreak.
— Ahmed Duraan | دران (@duraan_99) June 2, 2017
— Gamed@sudan (@GMohmme) May 26, 2017
But the official reports in the newspaper firmly reject the issue and this headline reads “(Ultimately) the country cannot prevent death…we have been open about the ones who have died and taken responsibility for them.” The article which quotes the General Manager at the Ministry of Health for the White Nile State, Dr. Babikir Adam Magboul, also says that between 25-29 people had died and patients face certain death if medicine was not administered.
— Khalid Taha (@KhalidmeTaha) June 2, 2017
Another headline reads: “Minster of Health: Dealing with hundreds of diarrhoea cases is not my job.” While twitter user, Khalid Taha, notes: “The behaviour of those responsible is so frequently shallow and pedantic. Yes, they’re all the same. Oh what misery!”