AFRICA/SUDAN - Doctors and hospitals on strike: imminent health disaster

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - Doctors raise alarm over medicine shortages, lack of funding, insecurity, and an impending health disaster. Yesterday, the Sudanese Ministry of Health reported 138 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths. The new cases were mainly recorded in Khartoum, El Gezira, Sennar, North Darfur, and Northern State.
The country’s doctors have raised the alarm, there is a lack of oxygen and hospital beds. Hospitals are on strike for all conditions except for emergency cases. Earlier this week, the hospital’s strike committee announced that the strike would be lifted in the emergency departments after the state authorities fulfilled part of the doctors’ demands, including police protection for the hospital. The doctors' association demanded an improved work environment and the provision of life-saving medicines and the commitment of the Central Bank of Sudan which, since the beginning of 2021, has not yet provided the funds for the import of medicines. According to the Socialist Doctors Association, medicine availability in the country is only 46 per cent, meaning that only 326 out of 709 classes of life-saving and emergency medicines are available. Stocks of medicines required for the treatment of cancer, kidney diseases, heart problems, and diabetes are almost exhausted. The Khartoum Hospital sit-in against the decomposition of 190 bodies in the hospital mortuary entered its third week despite raids. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 12/5/2021)