Conflict continues to inflict a heavy toll on the health of people in Sudan’s Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aims to respond to emergency health needs in the country, but in 2014 various restrictions hindered its access to conflict-affected areas. An MSF-operated hospital in South Kordofan was bombed in January. Thousands of people are cut off from humanitarian assistance and are in dire need of medical care.
Clashes took place between resident Zaghawa and nomadic Arab tribes in Tawila, where an MSF hospital-based project offers outpatient and inpatient care, focusing on the needs of mothers and children. The team carried out more than 34,900 outpatient consultations and 5,400 antenatal consultations, and treated 1,300 children for malnutrition. Another MSF team, again concentrating on basic medical care for mothers and children, works in four health centres in Dar Zaghawa. Postnatal care is available at three peripheral health posts. More than 46,800 outpatient consultations were conducted in 2014.
MSF continued to assist displaced people in El Sireaf, providing water and sanitation, relief items and medical care, including surgery. More than 17,700 outpatient consultations were carried out and 1,100 people were treated for malaria.
North Darfur Emergency Response (NDER), a project with the North Darfur health ministry, conducts rapid health assessments and interventions. Activities included relief item distribution in Tawisha, Usban and El Fasher; a hepatitis E intervention in Um Kadada; malnutrition screening in Shangil Tobaya; supporting the campaign against dengue fever in El Fasher with such things as case management, vector control and active surveillance; and emergency response training.
In March and April, there were 4,000 new arrivals at El Sereif displaced people camp near Nyala. Their villages southwest of the city had been destroyed and they had fled in fear. MSF was already working in the camp, improving the water supply (which was far short of emergency standards) and treating residents whose health was suffering due to the poor living conditions.
Towards the end of 2014, MSF began to support four health centres in Kerenek locality, West Darfur, offering basic medical care. A team also worked with the health ministry on Ebola preparedness, training more than 100 staff and strengthening surveillance.
Assisting South Sudanese refugees
A health clinic was opened in February in White Nile state to provide basic healthcare to some 30,000 South Sudanese refugees, many of them women, children and elderly people who had walked long distances to safety. An average of 4,300 consultations were carried out each month.
MSF conducted training on kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis) for 590 health professionals in Sennar state and treated 400 kala azar patients in Tabarak Allah hospital, Al Gedaref state. MSF also supported reproductive healthcare services in the hospital.
MSF supported tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment in five health centres in Jebel Awila, a large slum area on the outskirts of Khartoum, where crowded living conditions increase the risk of contracting the disease.
No. staff in 2014: 589 | Expenditure: €11.8 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1979 | msf.org/sudan