Sudan: MSF suspends surgery at Khartoum hospital as military blocks supplies
Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has announced the suspension of support to life-saving surgical activities at Bashair Teaching Hospital in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. This work includes trauma surgery and caesarean sections.
The announcements comes after military authorities have blocked the transport of surgical materials for over a month.
“It is devastating to have to stop supporting life-saving surgical care at Bashair Hospital,” says Shazeer Majeed, MSF surgical adviser.
“Since mid-May, the hospital’s emergency room has received nearly 5,000 patients and MSF’s surgical team has performed more than 3,000 surgical procedures. The needs are huge.
“Blocking the medication and materials needed to perform surgery deprives people of the healthcare they so desperately need.”
MSF started working alongside Ministry of Health staff and volunteers in Bashair Teaching Hospital in mid-May. However, since 8 September, military authorities have refused permission for MSF to bring new surgical supplies from our warehouses in Wad Madani to hospitals in south Khartoum.
MSF’s surgical supplies in Bashair Hospital have now run out, making it impossible to continue surgical activities.
“After weeks of discussions, on Sunday 1 October, we were informed that the military authorities in Wad Madani will no longer allow the transport of any surgical supplies, including for c-sections, to hospitals in south Khartoum,” says Michiel Hofman, MSF operations coordinator for Sudan.
“Despite repeated engagements with the health authorities since, these critical supplies remain blocked and stocks in the hospital are now depleted.
“We have no choice but to suspend our support to surgical activities at Bashair Teaching Hospital and temporarily withdraw our surgical team. We cannot ask our medical teams to stay when they can no longer provide life-saving care as they are medically obliged to do.”
Help us prepare for the next emergency
Two weeks left
MSF will continue to support maternal, emergency and outpatient care at Bashair Hospital.
For now, we will also continue supporting medical care at three other major hospitals in Khartoum and Omdurman, but some of these hospitals are also running out of supplies.
Surgical supplies at the Turkish Hospital in south Khartoum, also affected by the blockage, are likely to run out within two weeks.
MSF continues to discuss with all authorities concerned to get these supply blockages removed. We are ready to resume its surgical activities when supply lines are restored.
MSF and the crisis in Sudan
On Saturday 15 April, intense fighting broke out across Sudan with a wave of gunfire, shelling and airstrikes.
The violence between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has trapped millions of people in the middle of an unexpected conflict. Many have been forced to flee their homes while access to essential services such as healthcare has become increasingly difficult.
Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams already working in Sudan have been responding to the crisis since its first moments.