LONDON: Medecins Sans Frontieres has suspended performing trauma and caesarian surgeries at Bashair Teaching Hospital in Khartoum over a lack of supplies.

The medical charity said it had not been given permission to move supplies by the Sudanese Armed Forces from warehouses in Al-Jazirah state since Sept. 8, and it was withdrawing its surgical team.

It comes as Sudanese officials warn that they are having to “plan for the apocalypse” amid collapsing supply lines and vast numbers of displaced people across the country.

“It is devastating to have to stop supporting life-saving surgical care at Bashair Hospital,” said MSF surgical referent Shazeer Majeed. “The needs are huge. Blocking the medication and materials needed to perform surgery deprives people of the healthcare they so desperately need.”

The country has been crippled since fighting broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in April.

Since May, Majeed said, the hospital’s emergency room has received nearly 5,000 patients, and the MSF surgical team based there has performed more than 3,000 procedures in that period.

Michiel Hofman, MSF’s operations coordinator for Sudan, said: “Despite repeated engagements with the health authorities … critical supplies remain blocked and stocks in the hospital are now depleted.

“We have no choice but to suspend our support to surgical activities at Bashair Teaching Hospital and temporarily withdraw our surgical team. 

“We cannot ask our medical teams to stay when they can no longer provide life-saving care as they are medically obliged to do.”

The charity said it will continue to provide maternal, emergency and outpatient care through the hospital, as well as three other facilities in Khartoum and Omdurman. 

Khartoum’s Turkish Hospital, which also hosts MSF in the south of the capital, is thought to have less than a fortnight of supplies remaining.


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