Sudan has declared a cholera outbreak in eastern Sudan and investigations are ongoing to determine whether it has spread to the war-ravaged capital Khartoum, the WHO said.     

Sudan is caught up in fighting between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) that has displaced millions of people from their homes who have taken refuge in makeshift camps.   

At the time it declared the outbreak in the eastern state of Gedaref State, there were 264 suspected cholera cases, 4 confirmed cases and 16 associated deaths by Monday, it said in a statement.    

Investigations are also taking ongoing to determine whether cholera has spread to South Kordofan state.  

“A cholera outbreak can have a devastating effect in the context of a health system already overstretched because of war,” Dr Nima Abid, WHO Representative in Sudan said. 

Sudan is grappling with unprecedented mass displacement after the war erupted an April 15. 

Disease outbreaks and malnutrition have been compounded by heavy rains and flooding. Plans for oral cholera vaccines are being rolled out, the WHO said.     

About 70% of hospitals in conflict-affected states are non-functional, while the active hospitals and clinics in non-conflict-affected states are overwhelmed by the influx of internally displaced people, it said.  

So far more than three million have been internally displaced and over one million people have fled Sudan to neighbouring countries, the International Organisation for Migration has said.

(Editing by Seban Scaria