Frequently Asked Questions
Even though ongoing conflict in Sudan makes providing direct support to healthcare facilities challenging, WHO is dedicated to working with partners and local authorities to develop alternative solutions. The goal is to ensure that healthcare services and crucial medical supplies reach the affected population in Sudan.
WHO is actively coordinating and providing support for the health response in Sudan. WHO has delivered 170 metric tons of life-saving medical supplies.
- WHO is providing technical and logistical support for administering much-needed vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella, as well as polio and pneumonia.
- WHO is supporting survivors of gender-based and sexual violence by training healthcare workers in psychological first aid.
- WHO is coordinating mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services.
Before the current conflict began in April 2023, 7 million people were already displaced within Sudan, mostly in Darfur. The conflict has displaced an additional 2.2 million people, with over 1.6 million internally displaced and more than 528,000 crossing borders into neighbouring countries. WHO is responding by providing aid to those fleeing Sudan to Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. WHO is collaborating with national governments and partners in these hosting countries by distributing medical supplies, training health workers, tracking and responding to disease outbreaks, and supporting the deployment of emergency health teams (EMTs).
WHO’s role in coordinating the health response to emergencies is unique. Across the world, WHO works with partners in countries to both prepare for and respond to emergencies. WHO has a global presence and the technical expertise of how to respond to the needs of communities experiencing health emergencies.
WHO’s support began even before this emergency by working with partners and national and local governments to stockpile supplies at its distribution hub in Dubai and provide training for healthcare workers. WHO has a long-term presence in Sudan which enabled its immediate response. This presence and established relationships allow WHO to play a unique role as a long-trusted partner in responding to emergencies.
Access to basic health care
People impacted by the conflict require essential medical care such as medication, routine childhood immunization, support in childbirth, and surgical procedures. Additionally, it’s crucial to provide a timely response to injuries resulting from the conflict.
Management of chronic conditions
There are many people affected by the conflict who have ongoing health issues like diabetes and hypertension that require medication and medical monitoring.
Psychosocial well being
In addition to the general need for psychological support for those witnessing and directly impacted by the conflict, approximately 3.1 million women and girls are facing heightened risks of sexual and gender-based violence, with limited access to protection services and support.
Functional health facilities
In addition to severe shortage of medical supplies, widespread electric blackouts are common, which make providing health services nearly impossible. Reliable electricity is critical to providing essential health services and powering critical medical devices. Electricity powers the baby warmers, spotlights, suction units, oxygen concentrators, phototherapy devices, and diagnostic equipment used in maternal and child health care. Life-saving equipment such as ventilators also rely on continuous electricity. Refrigerators and freezers need electricity to prevent vaccines from degrading, and to store blood products and medicines. Laboratories also require electricity to operate centrifuges, microscopes and sterilisers. Electricity is also essential to ensure basic amenities such as lighting, clean water, ventilation, heating, cooling, and communications, as well as basic administrative services such as computing, printing, and charging mobile devices.
Before the conflict, around 33% of the population was already experiencing hunger, including about 50,000 children who were severely malnourished and requiring constant medical care.
Lack of safe drinking water
The lack of safe drinking water in some places due to some water stations going out of service forces people to use water from unsafe sources, increasing the risk of waterborne illness such as diarrhoea and cholera.
Increasing need for emergency health care
Over 1,000 healthcare workers have been trained in basic emergency care and 230 in mass casualty management.
Responding to disease outbreaks
The approaching rainy season will bring with it increased risk of flooding, which has the potential to spur waterborne disease outbreaks such as cholera. This is compounded by damage to waste management systems, which also poses significant health risks.
There is a high risk of malnutrition increasing due to lack of access to food markets and increasing food prices, as well as the pause in the operations of nongovernmental organizations.
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- Health supplies including essential medicines
- Health worker training
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