As Sudan’s war rages, the country’s health system is on the verge of collapse.


LONDON — When a power outage shut down the Ibrahim Malik Teaching Hospital where Dr. Muhammad Karrar worked, he packed a bag of whatever medical supplies and medicine he could carry.

“I posted on Twitter that I’m an emergency doctor in Al Mamura and anyone who needs me for free anytime and with my phone number,” Karrar said.

The doctor is one of many Sudanese medical professionals working in the neighboring primary health care centers. Continuous conflict In Sudan, rival forces are fighting for control of the country. A ceasefire that could end the bloody conflict They stopped.. Karar’s parents call him from the safety of a village in South Sudan every day.

“They worry about me. But I’ve studied for years to do this,” he told ABC. “I feel like I can’t just leave those sick and wounded people to die.”

Sudan information Doctor’s Association It suggests that 70 percent of health care services do not work due to lack of supply, staffing, and accessibility. 21 hospitals were forcibly evacuated by militants. And 17 hospitals were bombed in the air or on the ground, and nine ambulances were attacked. A Video Eyewitness footage on May 15 shows smoke rising from East Nile Hospital in Bahri Khartoum.

“It is no longer a problem for patients or health care providers to get to hospitals,” said Dr. Yasir Elamine, president of the Sudan American Physicians Association, which supports health care facilities nationwide.

The civilian death toll rose to 866, with 3,721 injured, the coalition said. Elamine said, speaking to ABC News from Houston, Texas.

Poor health infrastructure

“Before the war, the health infrastructure was weak,” Elamine said. “About 80% of health care services in Sudan are in Khartoum. And right now, Khartoum is actually one of two war zones. The other is West Darfur. So paralyzing health services in Khartoum means paralyzing health services in Sudan.”

SAPA has more than 200 volunteers who provide telemedicine consultations 24 hours a day. The challenge is when you talk to people who have been seriously injured in the war because you can’t just say go to the hospital, Elamine says.

“Most Sudanese would not have regular internet access, so the poorest people would not be able to benefit from this service,” he said.

“We know that there was a huge disparity in service delivery across the country, rural versus urban, access to diversity, as well as people’s socioeconomic status,” said Kate Nolan, deputy director of Operation Medicine San Frontieres. .

Some of the worst of the war is centered on impoverished West Darfur. Last week, the Sudanese Doctors Union announced that more than 280 civilians had died in just two days. MSF has been forced to clamp down on almost all activities in the region.

Photos taken at the MSF-funded West Darfur Genina Teaching Hospital show looting at the facility. Hospital beds are seen without mattresses. Cabinets are empty. Medicine boxes are stuck.

“After the looting of our medical warehouse in Khartoum, the fridges were removed and medicines were removed,” said Jean-Nicolas Armstrong Dangelzer, MSF’s emergency coordinator in Sudan. press release. “The whole cold chain is broken so the drugs are spoiled and can’t be used to treat anyone.”

Getting aid to desperate civilians in West and South Darfur from Port Sudan remains a ‘huge challenge’ with no clear solution, MSF and SAPA said.

Defense Committees

A WhatsApp group reviewed by ABC News, which counts health sector workers from the Al Mamoura neighborhood as members, is used to share logistical and medical advice, called “Central Emergency Unit”.

Elamine says the Sudanese uprising has seen the rise of so-called “resistance committees” in the neighborhoods. They have been playing a vital role in strengthening communication in communities.

Clinics are using social media to transport people to hospitals, identify patients, reunite them with families, and even bury them.

“A colleague of mine told me about his uncle who was killed with his son in the car. Someone took a picture of them on their mobile phone, and the family was looking for them for four or five days,” Elamine said.

The photos were shared online and the family was finally able to bury the bodies, he said.

Threat to medical personnel

It’s a daily struggle while civil opposition committees are plugging the gaps. Elamine said he did not know how long his colleagues in Sudan could continue. Heavy fighting continues in Khartoum, despite repeated declarations of a ceasefire aimed at ensuring humanitarian access.

In a recent situation report, the Sudanese Medical Staff Association condemned the “severe attacks on facilities, medical staff and civilian volunteers.”

“I’m worried that someone will know that I’m a doctor,” said Dr. Noah Madini, who could not go to the Elrazee hospital where he works, in a troubled area of ​​Khartoum.

This was told by several doctors ABC News spoke to in Sudan. They said they would hide their IDs and control entry to hospitals.

In a graphic video shown by ABC News, Karrar, a primary care physician, filmed inside the abandoned Al Raqi Hospital in Khartoum. A video from April 21 shows military boots and bloodstains inside the evacuation facility. Hospital services are still suspended.

“When we arrived it was empty and there was blood on the floor in the emergency room, bodies of soldiers and civilians lying on the floor and on trolleys,” he said. He was told by his crew that he had been picked up by the Rapid Support Force, one of the two rival gangs. Struggle to control Sudan. Karrar said doctors were forcefully treating the injured soldiers.

“Every day we live the worst days of our lives. We see death in front of our eyes, our families are very scared,” Madini said.

ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawi contributed to this report.


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