Health authorities and organizations have issued warnings that the health situation in Sudan is out of control, with the spread of cholera, fever, and malnutrition in 12 states of the country, in light of the continued destruction of hospitals and deteriorating environmental conditions after more than 200 days of escalating fighting between the army and the Rapid Support Forces.
According to preliminary estimates, at least 244 people have died out of the total number recorded from dengue fever and cholera, estimated at more than 10,000 cases as of the end of last week.
A report issued by the Ministry of Health indicated that more than 2,800 cases of cholera were recorded, of which 85 resulted in death, in 9 states. Given the absence of state institutions and the displacement of most workers in the field of environmental sanitation to different regions, many Sudanese cities are suffering from serious environmental degradation due to the accumulation of waste, leading to the spread of disease vectors such as flies and mosquitoes.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) confirmed that more than 3 million people in Sudan are at risk of contracting acute watery diarrhea and cholera.
Hospitals out of service
According to the Minister of Health in the Red Sea State, Ahlam Abdel Rasoul, 70% of hospitals in Sudan were closed due to the ongoing war between the army and the Rapid Support Forces since mid-April.
According to the minister, the Ministry of Health is unable to provide medicines and health supplies to citizens even in areas not affected by the war, especially after the Rapid Support Forces invaded Al-Jazeera State in central Sudan last December.
Due to the absence of state institutions and the displacement of most workers in the field of environmental sanitation to different areas, many Sudanese cities suffer from serious environmental deterioration due to the accumulation of waste, leading to the spread of disease vectors such as flies and mosquitoes.
At a time when the health sector in Sudan is suffering, dozens of initiatives are being organized to save what can be saved and provide health care and related services to patients in need in the various states of Sudan.
Osama Mustafa, 40 years old, says that their “Green Team” initiative took action when they found that the budgets allocated to hospitals were very diminished and did not meet the country’s health needs. From here came the idea of their initiative, through which they maintained the furniture of many hospitals, and they also repaired many medical equipment.
Osama adds that the medical furniture and device factories in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum specifically, and in Sudan as a whole, stopped due to the war that has been going on for more than 9 months, which prompted them to engage in the medical furniture recycling initiative to meet the needs of patients in various hospitals.
Saber Muhammad Abkar, a volunteer in the initiative, says that he has participated in the initiative since its founding and contributed to the rehabilitation of a number of hospitals, most notably Wad Madani City Hospital, the Dialysis Hospital, the Oncology Hospital, and Othman Digna Hospital.
A group of young engineers and technicians in the city of Port Sudan initiated an effort to repair hospital medical furniture and medical devices.
The initiative repairs broken medical equipment, medical furniture, and air conditioning equipment, which war conditions prevented from renewing. Young people also do blacksmithing, carpentry, and recycling waste and medical devices to help Sudanese hospitals damaged by the war.
Lack of capabilities
Due to their limited capacity, hospitals operating in the various states of the country are living in very deteriorating conditions, with large numbers of displaced people suffering from chronic diseases and epidemics that have spread in the recent period accumulating in them.
The small numbers of medical personnel available in these hospitals work in very difficult conditions, as they lack the most basic necessary medical aids, and they have not received their wages for many months.
On the political level, thousands of Sudanese in various cities of Sudan are pinning their hopes on a meeting that is supposed to bring together the commanders of the army and the Rapid Support, perhaps ending the brutal war that has lasted for more than 9 months.
A meeting was supposed to be held between the commanders of the army and the Rapid Support next Thursday, but the Sudanese Sovereignty Council refused in a statement to participate in the IGAD summit on the grounds that the commander of the Rapid Support did not attend the previous meeting at the end of last month.