Why are we there?
- Armed conflict
- Endemic/epidemic disease
- Healthcare exclusion
- Sudan: Dozens killed in Darfur violence
- Chad: MSF treats wounded in Tissi after renewed clashes in Darfur
- Sudan: Against all odds - maternity care in rural North Darfur
This is an extract from our latest Activity Report, looking back on our work in the previous year.
Armed groups have extended their presence across Sudan’s regions of North and South Darfur, and peace agreements do not seem to have had a noticeable effect on people’s lives.
Conflict has also affected tens of thousands of people living in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
North and South Darfur
Health services are scarce across much of the country – they are even more limited for people living in conflict zones – and the government does not allow humanitarian organisations access to areas controlled by opposition groups.
The Shaeria area in South Darfur experiences intermittent unrest. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides services at the Ministry of Health hospital, particularly maternal care and nutrition, and in three clinics, offering a lifeline to people living in remote villages.
However, medical activities faced more obstacles during 2012 as South Darfur was divided into two states, South Darfur and East Darfur, resulting in fewer resources in each state, and making administrative procedures more complex.
In North Darfur, teams continued to provide comprehensive health services at facilities in Tawila and basic healthcare in five centres in Dar Zaghawa. In Kaguro, there were problems in the delivery of medical supplies, and MSF continued to negotiate for improved access to healthcare for residents and displaced people.
As the situation stabilised in Shangil Tobaya, where MSF had been providing basic health services since 2004, the programme was handed over to the Ministry of Health. Assistance in 2012 focused on the provision of healthcare in the displaced persons camp.
Yellow fever response
The Sudanese health authorities began responding to an outbreak of yellow fever in Darfur at the end of the year, and MSF offered medical and logistical assistance.
Yellow fever is a viral haemorrhagic fever, named for the jaundice suffered by many people with the disease. Although most people who contract the disease recover within days, up to 50 percent will develop more serious symptoms, which can be fatal.
MSF teams in Al-Geneina and Zalingei treated patients and donated drugs and medical supplies. Staff in five localities of North and Central Darfur also took part in a vaccination campaign that reached a total of 750,000 people.
Kala azar programme extended
Sudan has one of the highest rates of kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis) in the world. Transmitted by female sandflies, the disease is almost always fatal if left untreated, but timely diagnosis and treatment nearly always bring a cure.
In January, MSF trained medical staff in Azaza Damoos, Sennar state, in kala azar diagnosis and treatment, and mobile teams visited the surrounding area to screen people for the disease.
MSF has supported the hospital in Tabarak Allah, Al-Gedaref state, since 2010, focusing on screening and treatment of the disease. Additional support is given for the treatment of patients with kala azar who also have tuberculosis or HIV.
Thousands displaced by flooding
Heavy rains in August led to flooding. Teams in Al-Gedaref and Sennar distributed relief kits and plastic sheeting to people made homeless by the rising waters. In Al-Mafaza, Al-Gedaref, MSF delivered drinking water, built latrines and showers, and trained health staff in the diagnosis and treatment of acute watery diarrhoea.
In Al-Dinder, Sennar, staff conducted mobile clinics and vaccinated children against measles. Measles vaccination was also carried out, alongside nutritional screening, in Mazmun, where MSF supported the hospital’s nutrition programme.
At the end of 2012, MSF had 1,031 staff in Sudan. MSF has been working in the country since 1979.