Red Cross teams at the border areas in Egypt, Chad and Ethiopia provide basic health services to the displaced people. Copyright: ICRC
- Hundreds killed, thousands wounded in Sudan fighting
- Thirteen hospitals bombed, 19 forcibly evacuated
- Damage to health system could be felt for decades – WHO
By: Mouttasem Albarodi
Sudan’s health system is disintegrating under the weight of the fighting raging in the country since mid-April, doctors and health officials warn, with the damage expected to last for decades.
Health and relief institutions say the conflict threatens to become a humanitarian catastrophe as tens of thousands flee for safety to neighbouring South Sudan, Chad, Egypt and Ethiopia amid intense fighting between the army and militia.
Services have ceased in more than 70 per cent of hospitals in areas hit by the clashes in a number of Sudanese states, Sudan’s doctors’ syndicate said Tuesday (25 April). In total, 13 of the hospitals were bombed, while 19 others forcibly evacuated.
“We are in a state of total collapse,” said Atiya Abdullah Atiya, a key member of the syndicate, in a phone call to SciDev.Net.
“Our drug stocks are depleted, health institutions have been destroyed, and our medical teams have been killed in battle.”
The shortage of staff and medical supplies and constant power outages threaten to shut down the remaining functioning hospitals, while the number of victims of the ongoing clashes continues to rise, according to Atiya.
Fighting erupted on 15 April in the capital Khartoum between the army and a paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces. A fragile US-brokered ceasefire which came into effect Tuesday was due to end later today (Thursday), with negotiations ongoing.
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