In April, Sudanese government officials reported a meningitis epidemic to the World Health Organization's surveillance units. In the month after the first reports, the United Nations and Sudan have had to launch an appeal for $976,000 to fight the disease.
So far 303 people have died of the disease since November and over 3,700 have been infected. Another 70,000 are at an immediate risk of contracting the disease with 2.5 million total individuals are at risk in the long-term.
The appeal, also made by international and national voluntary
organizations, was launched on Thursday, 11 May 2000.
The region with the highest number of infections was reported in Southern Sudan's Bahr al-Jebel state, where 121 out of the 1,655 who
contracted the disease have died.
Meningitis is seasonal occurrence in Sudan, usually occurring in the early
months of the year. This outbreak has been particularly virulent and started earlier in the season than usual.