Sudan was once the largest and most geographically diverse state in Africa, and was also home to one of the continent’s longest-running civil wars.
MSF in Sudan 2015
Following a 2005 peace deal, southern Sudan broke away forming the world’s newest country, briefly ending hostilities.
However, various outstanding secession issues – especially the question of shared oil revenues and the exact border demarcation – have continued to create tensions between the two successor states.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has been working in Sudan since 1979, providing care for people caught up in conflict, treating neglected tropical diseases and filling general healthcare gaps.
MSF’s work in Sudan: 2015
In Sudan, MSF continues to provide medical assistance to people in some of the most remote and challenging environments, but our access to those most affected by conflict is severely restricted.
MSF aims to support the provision of basic healthcare and helps detect and respond to disease outbreaks, particularly in Darfur, where there are significant medical needs and the Ministry of Health at times calls for specialist healthcare support to boost its capacity.
However, denial of access to Blue Nile state, forced closure of activities in East Darfur state, and administrative obstacles and blockages in South Darfur state made it impossible for MSF to respond to medical emergencies and provide life-saving services in three major conflict-affected parts of Sudan.
In El Sireaf, North Darfur, we use a network of community health workers to spread preventive healthcare messages and awareness of free health services available. Over 54,000 outpatient consultations were undertaken overall in 2015.
Further east, the MSF clinic in Tawila is the only health facility for the population in the Jebel Marra region. The team conducted over 59,000 outpatient consultations, provided 16,700 children with routine vaccinations and treated 1,300 children for malnutrition.
A project based in remote Dar Zaghawa provided healthcare to people living in Um Baru, Furawiya and Jurajeem and carried out 54,200 outpatient consultations.
North Darfur Emergency Response (NDER)
The joint MSF and Ministry of Health NDER team undertook two measles vaccination campaigns. The first was in March and reached 80,000 people in El Sireaf. The second followed in June in the Zam Zam and Korma camps for internally displaced people, and reached over 55,000 children. The team also screened the children for malnutrition and gave them vitamin A supplements.
The team also supported El Fasher hospital for a month during an outbreak of dengue fever, working with local NGO Zulfa to construct 11 rooms for basic healthcare, and running clinical services until the end of July.
In Kerenek, MSF teams supported three clinics in Hajar Tama, Goderni and Kongi, and a bi-weekly mobile clinic in Watsani, carrying out more than 33,800 outpatient consultations.
An outbreak of viral haemorrhagic fever in November led MSF to establish an isolation ward in Al-Geneina hospital and two mobile clinics for the identification, treatment and referral of cases.
Over 3,000 people with fever were examined, 1,000 of whom were confirmed as having malaria and five of whom were suspected of having viral haemorrhagic fever. The exact cause of the outbreak remains unclear.
MSF responded to measles outbreaks in West Darfur by vaccinating children aged between six months and 15 years.
Project closure after Frandala hospital bombing
MSF’s hospital in Frandala, South Kordofan state, was bombed by Sudanese government forces in January and MSF subsequently withdrew. Teams had provided over 80,000 consultations to the people living in this area of active conflict.
Al Gedaref state
Kala azar is endemic in the Atbara area of Al Gedaref state and MSF screened over 1,500 people and treated 359 patients for the disease in Tabarak Allah government rural hospital in 2015.
The team also supported the sexual and reproductive health services of the hospital, conducting around 2,200 antenatal consultations, assisting births and referring women with obstetric fistula to Kassala fistula treatment centre. In response to a measles outbreak, MSF vaccinated 266,600 children.
South Sudanese refugees
MSF continued to provide healthcare to South Sudanese refugees in Elsalam locality, White Nile state, where 80,000 live in three camps: Kashafa, Joury and Reaise.
Working out of Kashafa, the team offered basic healthcare to residents of all three camps and the host population and undertook over 44,300 outpatient consultations.
Find out more in our 2015 International Activity Report.
At the end of 2015, MSF had 555 staff in Sudan. MSF has been working in the country since 1979.