Dr Ahmed Abd-elrahman is a Sudanese doctor who has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for more than 17 years, including in Somalia, Pakistan and Libya. He is currently working as MSF director of operations in Brussels, and is directly supporting MSF teams in Sudan.
“As the situation stands today, I am gravely concerned that without additional staff and the ability to move essential supplies where they are needed, many lifesaving activities may have to be put on hold.
Our surgical team in Khartoum, for example, has been operating non-stop for more than 10 days. If we are unable to bring in another team, it may not be possible to continue these crucial activities.
Our teams are witnessing on a daily basis the direct impact of ongoing fighting on people in Khartoum and in Darfur, and the health consequences of displacement in areas such as Wad Madani. In Wad Madani, Al-Jazeera state, the health system is under extreme pressure.
MSF’s mobile clinics have seen over 1,000 patients in just a few weeks. In Khartoum, our surgical team has treated over 400 trauma patients since 9 May. These activities are saving lives and it is crucial to keep them running efficiently.
Although we have been able to bring in some supplies into the country, access remains very challenging. There has not been the possibility of unhindered movement from points of entry to places where the supplies are needed. Even where we had supplies pre-positioned in the country, looting and attacks on healthcare facilities and warehouses have reduced our stock significantly. It is crucial that supplies can continue to be brought into the country and to move freely.
Even more worryingly, across Sudan many medical facilities have been left short-staffed as people flee to safety. The few remaining dedicated humanitarian staff who have been able to come into Sudan are working under extreme pressure and we have been struggling to reinforce our teams by bringing in additional international staff over the past two weeks.
While we managed to obtain a few visas recently, we urgently need more. Without new staff and the possibility to move essential supplies in the country, many humanitarian operations in many parts of the country may grind to a halt. We call on parties of the conflict to ensure humanitarian access and to allow us to assist the Sudanese people.”