Was Madan/Brussels – As heavy fighting resumed in Sudan’s capital at the end of the most recent ceasefire this week, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in Wad Madani have seen a worrying increase in the number of people arriving from Khartoum.
Around 5,000 people were already living in three major camps around the city. Last week, the number of displaced people rose from 300 to 2,800 in one location where we are working. This rapid influx further highlights the urgent need to deliver basic healthcare and other services to all people displaced by this conflict.
“Many of the displaced people arriving in Wad Madani from the capital lost not only all their belongings and livelihoods, but also family members during the fighting in Khartoum,” says Anja Wolz, MSF medical coordinator for Sudan.
Since the beginning of May, our teams, with the support of Ministry of Health staff, have been running mobile clinics in several of the main locations where displaced people are gathered in Wad Madani. We have seen more than 1,600 patients since then, most of whom have respiratory tract infections, commonly associated with poor living conditions or lack of proper shelters.
We have also treated people with malaria, chronic diseases, and skin lesions caused by allergies and scabies, in addition to providing vaccinations. An MSF midwife also provides services for pregnant women and psychological support is also available. In the past few weeks, we have been able to bring much-needed supplies to Wad Madani to support these activities.
“The laboratory is not fully equipped but we continue to operate with what is available. We have a good supply of medication and also quick medical test kits for malaria, blood sugar and pressure, [and] pregnancy,” says Ahmed Omer Alack, MSF doctor.
Our teams are working with the Ministry of Health to transfer urgent cases to the hospital, where we follow up specific patients with a medic from our team.
Many of the displaced people arriving in Wad Madani from the capital lost not only all their belongings and livelihoods, but also family members during the fighting in Khartoum.Anja Wolz, MSF medical coordinator for Sudan
We are particularly concerned about the water and sanitation conditions in the camps for displaced people, especially with the rainy season approaching. Malaria cases are already beginning to increase and there are now concerns about the spread of dengue – a disease often linked to the spread of mosquitoes in such camps during rainy periods.
“The goal of our teams in Wad Madani is also to prevent an outbreak of waterborne diseases such as cholera, which could easily lead to a full-blown disaster in the current situation,” says Wolz.
“Our teams are working hard to improve of the hygiene conditions in the camps and ensure access to safe drinking water.”
With the current influx of people arriving from Khartoum, MSF teams are currently assessing how we can expand activities in the area.
MSF works in 11 states in Sudan, including Khartoum and Darfur. We provide treatment for war-wounded people in Khartoum and North Darfur, and healthcare and water and sanitation services for refugees and displaced people in Al-Gedaref and Al Jazirah states. Our teams also treat malnutrition and provide basic healthcare in Blue Nile State.