WHO: The health system in Sudan has collapsed

Agencies – Sudan Events – Geneva

Director of the WHO in Sudan, Dr. Nima Saeed Abed, said that the health system in Sudan has reached the point of collapse with reduced capabilities to meet the growing needs due to the spread of diseases, malnutrition, and the rise in cases of untreated non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, chronic diseases and kidney failure).
Abed pointed out that access to health care is still limited due to insecurity, displacement, and lack of medicines and medical supplies, which exposes millions of Sudanese to the risk of serious diseases or death due to preventable and treatable causes.
Abed said in a press conference (Tuesday) in Geneva that up to 70-80% of health facilities are not working in conflict areas, and in areas that were not directly affected by the conflict, health facilities are crowded with patients while health care cadres, who form the backbone of the health system in Sudan, have not received their salaries for nearly seven months.
He pointed out that up to now, the organization has verified 60 attacks on health care facilities since the beginning of the conflict, which led to the death of 34 people and the injury of 38, which further affected the availability of health care. He pointed out that the conflict and the mass displacement that followed it led to pushing the population into a state of deprivation. Meanwhile, malnutrition is widespread as children’s lives are at stake.
Abed said that cholera epidemic has been declared in three states across Sudan, namely Gedaref, Khartoum and South Kordofan. Suspected cases have also been reported in the states of Gezira and Kassala.
He warned that the outbreak is expanding rapidly due to the conditions represented by poor water, sanitation and hygiene, displacement and weak health services. The WHO official noted that a total of 1,962 suspected cases of cholera had been reported as of last week, including 30 laboratory-confirmed cases and 72 related deaths as of October 27, 2023. He warned that estimates indicate that more than 3.1 million people are exposed to the risk of cholera until the end of December 2023.

The international organization official added that, according to the latest estimates, about 20.3 million people, or 40% of the population, face hunger, while 6.3 million are one step away from hunger. He pointed out that up to 4.6 million children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers suffer from malnutrition, and 3.4 million suffer from malnutrition. One child under the age of five suffers from acute malnutrition, and 700,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition.

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