Doctors warn of ‘impending health disaster’ in Sudan
May 6 - 2021 KHARTOUM / SENNAR
Doctors on strike against ongoing violence (social media)
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 Sudanese Ministry of Health reported 138 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths between Thursday and Saturday while recoveries reached 224 cases.
In its epidemiological report, the ministry said that the new cases were mainly recorded in Khartoum, El Gezira, Sennar, North Darfur, and Northern State.
Heba Hassanein, director of the health ministry's General Administration, explained last week that the statistics issued by the Emergency and Epidemiology Department of the Federal Ministry of Health do not cover all cases.
On May 1 only, North Darfur recorded 18 new cases.
The Northern State reported that the number of currently infected patients rose to 57 cases, including five cases in the isolation centres in Dongola and Halfa. The state confirmed one death in the Meroe locality and five confirmed cases of Coronavirus on Tuesday.  
Sennar recorded three new cases of corona and one death on Tuesday.
As the country’s third COVID-19 wave spreads through the country, there is a lack of oxygen and hospital beds.
The Socialist Doctors Association warns of an impending health disaster in the country due to severe medicine shortages.
The association said in a press statement yesterday that 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 doctors’ association further stated that the Central Bank of Sudan has not provided any funds for the import of medicines since the beginning of 2021, out of a total of €200 million of allocated funding.
The doctors call on “the revolutionary forces to act quickly using peaceful means of pressure until the bank fulfills its obligations and provides the required foreign currency to bring in the medicines”.
Last month, medics already raised alarm over the dire medicine shortages and lack of health care funding.
Doctors on strike
The strike of medics in Sennar hospitals continued for its eighth day yesterday.
A member of the Medical Staff Coordination in Sennar told Radio Dabanga that their partial strike is continuing due to the failure of the state government to fulfill their demands. He explained that 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 general strike was announced last week in protest against regular attacks on doctors and hospital staff by relatives of patients.
The committee pledged to lift the strike when perpetrators are held accountable and brought to fair trials in accordance with the Law on Protection of Medical and Health Personnel. They demanded an improved work environment and the provision of life-saving medicines and also demanded that the regular armed forces adhere to hospital admission procedures.
In South Darfur, doctors at Nyala Hospital also organised a strike to protest against regular attacks on doctors and nurses. They halted their strike last week after four days.
Meanwhile, the Khartoum Hospital sit-in against the decomposition of 190 bodies in the hospital mortuary entered its third week despite raids.
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