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The World in Medicine
October 20, 2004

Death in Darfur

JAMA. 2004;292(15):1810. doi:10.1001/jama.292.15.1810-a

Up to 10 000 people, many of them children, are dying each month of disease and violence in refugee camps in the Darfur region of Sudan, according to a survey conducted in two states in Darfur by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Sudan’s Ministry of Health.

Some 1.45 million people who have fled their villages in Darfur since conflict between government forces and rebel groups broke out in 2003 are camping in settlements. The “crude mortality rate” used to define a humanitarian crisis is 1 death per 10 000 individuals per day; the WHO survey found crude mortality rates of 2.9 deaths per 10 000 individuals per day in West Darfur and 1.5 deaths per 10 000 individuals per day in North Darfur. Diarrhea was linked to the deaths of many of the children younger than 5 years; injuries and violence were linked to 15% of total deaths.

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