Eight killed and 18 injured in attacks on Sudanese health system – Health Policy Watch
There have been 46 attacks on Sudan’s health infrastructure in which eight people were killed and 18 injured, and two-thirds of hospitals in affected areas have been closed as a result of the escalated attacks, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. .
Clashes which broke out in mid-April in Khartoum between the country’s armed forces and a paramilitary group, Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, currently deputy head of the country’s Sovereign Council. The RSF appeared to be attempting to stage a coup following the conflict over the planned integration of the RSF into the Sudanese military.
Overall, the greatest public health risks remain ongoing violence resulting in trauma, severe disruptions to health care and repeated attacks on the health system, and poor access to clean water, sanitation and food, increasing the risk of malnutrition and transmitted diseases, said WHO in its first report on the situation of the conflict.
According to the Sudanese Doctors Union Preliminary Committee, 67 percent (60 out of 89) of all major hospitals in the affected areas were out of order as of May 31, the report noted.
The 29 hospitals that are fully or partially operating (some providing only emergency medical services) are at risk of closure due to shortages of medical staff, supplies, water and electricity.
Among the health assets compromised in the violence are the National Laboratory of Public Health and the National Warehouse of Funds for Medical Supplies of the Federal Ministry of Health.
Condemning the continued attacks on healthcare facilities, workers and assets, WHO has urged warring parties to maintain ceasefire agreements, to ensure the safety of aid workers and the safe passage of humanitarian aid into the country as well as the protection of health workers and health facilities to ensure that health facilities remain functional and accessible and that supplies are provided without hindrance so that the population can receive the health care they need and deserve.
Since April 15, 866 people have been killed across the country and over 6,000 have been injured. At least one million people had fled, including more than 250,000 people who have taken refuge in neighboring countries.
WHO had before reported the occupation of the National Public Health Laboratory, which housed a wide variety of chemical and biological materials and disease pathogens, and added that it was conducting a risk assessment on the situation.
The agency added that the revised Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) needs $2.6 billion to help people in Sudan and that 24.7 million people were in need of humanitarian aid. WHO’s Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE) released $3.6 million for emergency response in the region, just days after the violence erupted.
On 21 May, the RSF and the Sudanese military agreed a seven-day ceasefire agreement in Jeddah to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid to the populations affected in Khartoum and in the regions torn by violence. Although the warring parties agreed to extend the ceasefire another five days, intense clashes were reported in Khartoum one day after the extension was agreed.
Image credits: United Nations Human Rights.
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