Sudan: MSF teams responding to immense medical needs

Providing medical care despite major challenges

Since 15 April 2023, intense fighting has been taking place between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum and other parts of Sudan.

Despite major challenges, MSF is providing lifesaving medical care to people affected by the conflict.

Near the frontline in North Darfur, a hospital team supported by MSF worked around the clock to treat the wounded. MSF mobile clinics have also started providing lifesaving healthcare for hundreds of displaced people fleeing from the violence in Khartoum.

Our teams have provided live-saving medical supplies to five health facilities in Khartoum, including 10 tons to one hospital treating the wounded. We are in constant contact with hospitals and medical networks to supply more, but the fighting has made this extremely dangerous. Hospitals have been destroyed and those that can still function are overwhelmed.

The teams on the ground report that hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands are fleeing to safer areas. We are witnessing immense medical and humanitarian needs.

Caught in the crossfire

At the MSF-supported hospital in El Fasher, North Darfur, medical teams have treated hundreds of people wounded in crossfire since the conflict began. It is now the only functioning clinic in the town, which has a population of nearly one million people. All other hospitals in North Darfur have had to close – either due to their proximity to the fighting, or due to the inability of staff to get to the facilities because of the violence.

The majority of the wounded are civilians who were caught in the crossfire – among them are many children.

“There are so many patients that they are being treated on the floor in the corridors because there simply aren’t enough beds to accommodate the vast number of wounded.”
Cyrus Paye, MSF Project Coordinator, El Fasher

As well as receiving patients wounded in the conflict, the El Fasher hospital continues to receive other cases, obstructed labours, people with other chronic diseases, morbidities and more.

El Fasher: 2 weeks since the beginning of the clashes

El Fasher: 2 weeks since the beginning of the clashes

Medical supplies and mobile clinics

Elsewhere in the country, and especially in Khartoum, Darfur, North Kordofan and Gedaref states, MSF teams face serious challenges. In Khartoum, most teams are trapped by the ongoing heavy fighting and are unable to access warehouses to deliver vital medical supplies to hospitals. Hospitals have been destroyed and those that can still function are overwhelmed. MSF premises in Nyala, South Darfur, have been looted – including one of our warehouses.

Despite the challenges, MSF teams have provided medical supplies to five health facilities in Khartoum. This includes 10 tons of life-saving medical supplies to Jabra Hospital to treat the wounded in Khartoum. We are in constant contact with hospitals and medical networks to supply more.

Meanwhile, an MSF surgical team has arrived in Port Sudan. The team is ready to move immediately to areas of the country where their skills are needed to provide urgent medical care, such as Khartoum. An MSF team in Wad Madani, Sudan, has also started providing lifesaving healthcare through mobile clinics for hundreds of displaced people fleeing violence in Khartoum.

Committed to providing healthcare

MSF supported facilities continue to provide medical care in Kreinik, West Darfur, in Rokero, Central Darfur, in Um Rakuba and Tinedba, Al-Gedaref state and in Damazin in Blue Nile State.

“Experienced MSF emergency teams stand ready to enter Sudan as soon as they are able to support the scale-up of our activities. Other teams are currently preparing and identifying the best ways to send medical and humanitarian supplies to the country.”
Kate Nolan, MSF Deputy Director of Operations

The number of patients in Sudan who don't have access to health facilities, essential care, and medications are increasing. For example, it is very difficult for patients with renal failure who need dialysis, patients with heart disease, patients with cancer, patients with haemophilia, as well as neonatal, obstetric and gynaecological cases.

MSF remain committed to providing much needed healthcare to people in Sudan, especially during these challenging moments. But to do so, we need to be able to ensure safety and security for our staff and patients.

An urgent call

MSF has not left and does not plan to leave Sudan. We will further scale up our emergency response in the coming days to respond to the already overwhelming medical needs in Sudan.

Without vital medical supplies, there will be further loss of life. MSF urges parties to the conflict to ensure the safe movement of medical supplies and equipment within the country to reach medical facilities and those in need.

We are worried about our Sudanese colleagues, patients and civilians who are trapped in this conflict. Our thoughts are with them, and we reiterate our calls to all parties to the conflict to avoid civilian areas and to spare civilian lives.

We urge all parties to the conflict to guarantee safety for medical staff and patients, so that they can access healthcare facilities without fearing for their lives.

We additionally request that all parties to the conflict ensure that all health facilities – including hospitals, clinics, warehouses and ambulances – are protected.

As humanitarian health workers we are trying to ensure that the provision of basic healthcare continues and access to care for those directly affected by the conflict is available.
Dr Mohammed Mosuke, MSF Deputy Operations Manager, Sudan