WHO Calls For Protection Of Health Workers, Patients In Sudan

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FILE PHOTO: The World Health Organization logo is pictured at the entrance of the WHO building, in Geneva, Switzerland, December 20, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

As fighting continues in Khartoum and other parts of Sudan, the World Health Organisation has urged all parties to the conflict to respect the neutrality of health care and ensure unrestricted access to health facilities for those injured by the hostilities.

The WHO reminded all parties of their obligations under International Humanitarian Law to protect the wounded and sick, civilians, health care workers, ambulances and health facilities.

The power struggle between two generals in Sudan and its associated violence escalated dramatically on Saturday and Sunday, with at least dozens of civilians and soldiers killed.

The global health body said since April 13, more than 83 people have been killed and more than 1,126 people injured across Khartoum, South Kordofan, North Darfur, Northern State and other regions, with the heaviest concentration of fighting now taking place in Khartoum City.

“Movement in the city is restricted due to the insecurity creating challenges for doctors, nurses, patients, and ambulances to reach health facilities, and putting at risk the lives of those who need urgent medical care.

“WHO is monitoring the health needs and resources across Khartoum and other affected cities to ensure that limited supplies are directed to where they are most needed.

“Supplies distributed by WHO to health facilities prior to this recent escalation of conflict are now exhausted, and many of the nine hospitals in Khartoum receiving injured civilians are reporting shortages of blood, transfusion equipment, intravenous fluids, medical supplies, and other life-saving commodities. There are also reports of shortages of specialized medical personnel, including anesthesiologists. Water and power cuts are affecting the functionality of health facilities, and shortages of fuel for hospital generators are also being reported,” it said in a press statement.

WHO added that it will continue to work with partners and health authorities as the situation evolves to fill gaps in the provision of health care, especially for trauma care, while also ensuring the safety of our own staff and their families.

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