Doctors Without Borders Suspends Surgical Operations in Hospital in Khartoum

Khartoum – Sudan Events

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has suspended its life-saving surgical activities at Bashaer Teaching Hospital in South Khartoum, Sudan, including trauma surgery and caesarean sections, after authorities caused surgical supplies to go unavailable and prevented their delivery from Wad Madani in central Sudan for more than two months.

The organization will withdraw its surgical team, at least temporarily, but will continue to support maternal, emergency and outpatient care in the hospital. It will also provide and support medical care in three other major hospitals in Khartoum and Omdurman at the present time, but supplies in some of these hospitals are also running out.

The Turkish hospital south of Khartoum, which was also affected by the blockage, is likely to run out of surgical supplies within two weeks. It is “devastating to have to stop supporting life-saving surgical care at Bashaer Hospital,” said MSF surgeon Shazir Majeed, who provides guidance to the hospital team. “Since mid-May, the hospital’s emergency room has received nearly 5,000 patients and the MSF surgical team has performed more than 3,000 surgeries.

The needs are huge. Withholding medicines and surgical materials is depriving people of the health care they desperately need.”

MSF began working alongside Ministry of Health staff and volunteers at Bashaer Teaching Hospital since mid- May. Since the 8th of September, the authorities have refused to allow MSF to bring in new surgical supplies from its warehouses in Wad Madani, in Sudan’s Al-Gezira state, to hospitals in South Khartoum.

“After weeks of discussions on October 1st, we were informed that the authorities in Wad Madani would no longer allow any surgical supplies, including caesarean sections, to be transported to hospitals in South Khartoum,” said Michel Hoffmann, Operations Coordinator.

“Despite repeated communication, health authorities have since then, these vital supplies remain off-limits and stocks in the hospital are now exhausted. We have no choice but to suspend our support for surgical activities at Bashaer Education and temporarily withdraw

our surgical team. We cannot ask our medical teams to stay when they are unable to provide the life-saving care they are medically required to do.’’

MSF continues to discuss this urgent issue with all relevant authorities in order to enable the delivery of supplies. It is ready to resume its surgical activities when supply lines are restored.

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