Medecins Sans Frontieres Suspends Surgeries at Bashair Teaching Hospital in Khartoum
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, has announced the suspension of trauma and caesarian surgeries at Bashair Teaching Hospital in Khartoum due to a lack of supplies. The medical charity stated that it has been unable to move supplies from warehouses in Al-Jazirah state since September 8, as it has not received permission from the Sudanese Armed Forces. As a result, MSF is withdrawing its surgical team from the hospital.
The decision comes at a time when Sudanese officials are warning of a dire situation, with collapsing supply lines and a significant number of displaced people across the country. MSF surgical referent Shazeer Majeed expressed his devastation at having to halt life-saving surgical care at Bashair Hospital. He emphasized the immense need for healthcare services and highlighted the fact that blocking essential medication and materials for surgery deprives people of the critical care they desperately require.
Sudan has been severely affected since fighting broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces in April. Since May, Bashair Hospital’s emergency room has received nearly 5,000 patients, and the MSF surgical team based there has performed over 3,000 procedures during that period.
Michiel Hofman, MSF’s operations coordinator for Sudan, expressed disappointment despite repeated engagements with health authorities. He stated that critical supplies remain blocked, resulting in depleted stocks at the hospital. Consequently, MSF has no choice but to suspend its support for surgical activities at Bashair Teaching Hospital and temporarily withdraw its surgical team. The organization cannot ask its medical teams to stay when they are unable to provide life-saving care, which they are medically obliged to do.
Although trauma and caesarian surgeries are suspended, MSF will continue to provide maternal, emergency, and outpatient care at Bashair Teaching Hospital, as well as three other facilities in Khartoum and Omdurman. However, the situation remains critical as Khartoum’s Turkish Hospital, which also hosts MSF in the southern part of the capital, is believed to have less than a fortnight’s worth of supplies remaining.
The suspension of surgeries at Bashair Teaching Hospital highlights the urgent need for international support to address the healthcare crisis in Sudan. The country is grappling with a fragile healthcare system, exacerbated by ongoing conflict and limited resources. MSF’s withdrawal from surgical activities further underscores the challenges faced by medical organizations in delivering essential services to vulnerable populations.
Efforts must be made to ensure the swift delivery of medical supplies to hospitals and healthcare facilities across Sudan. Additionally, increased international assistance is crucial to strengthen the healthcare system and provide sustainable support for the country’s healthcare needs. The situation in Sudan demands immediate attention and action to prevent further suffering and loss of life.
In conclusion, the suspension of trauma and caesarian surgeries at Bashair Teaching Hospital in Khartoum due to a lack of supplies is a distressing development. MSF’s withdrawal of its surgical team highlights the urgent need for international support to address the healthcare crisis in Sudan. Immediate action is required to ensure the delivery of essential medical supplies and strengthen the country’s healthcare system. The situation demands swift intervention to alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese people and prevent further loss of life.