Sudan: Heat Stroke Claims 13 Lives in Port Sudan, Hospital Staff Strike Continues

Port Sudan — Sweltering temperatures in Port Sudan have led to a surge in heat stroke cases, including deaths, according to the Red Sea state Health Ministry. Medical assistance is limited in the state capital, as the Port Sudan Teaching Hospital emergency staff are on strike to protest delayed salary payments.

The Red Sea state Ministry of Health reported 13 fatalities and 42 cases of heat stroke in Port Sudan since June. Dr Hisham Osman, director of the General Department of Emergency and Epidemic Control at the ministry, explained that Port Sudan experiences an annual surge in heat stroke cases in the warm season, which started in June.

Osman explained that displaced people are particularly vulnerable to heat stroke “due to the lack of awareness on preventive measures, and the overcrowded shelters they inhabit.” He added that locals tend to be more familiar with the necessary precautions to combat the sweltering temperatures.

To address the issue, the Ministry of Health established a specialised centre to provide treatment for heat-related illnesses. The centre consists of “two separate wards, one for men and the other for women, catering to injuries linked to high temperatures and humidity”.

Osman emphasised the importance of staying hydrated by regularly consuming ample fluids to mitigate the risk of heat stroke. He advised against wearing tight, dark clothing, and recommended wearing breathable, cotton clothes. He also warned against spending time in poorly ventilated areas to prevent heat stress.

He urged companies and investors, especially those employing workers in physically demanding sectors like ports, to reduce working hours during extreme heat conditions to minimise the risk of heat stroke.