As conflict continues to escalate in Sudan, there is a growing concern for the health care of unborn and newborn individuals. The country is facing a looming crisis in providing adequate healthcare for this vulnerable population.
Save the Children, a British charity, reports that approximately 30,000 children will be delivered in Sudan, a country ravaged by war, within the next three months. These newborns will not have access to essential medical treatment, such as doctors, hospitals, and medication. The organization warns that this lack of basic healthcare puts both mothers and babies in danger, increasing the likelihood of severe and fatal complications.
Out of approximately 45,000 expected births in Sudan in the upcoming quarter, this number includes children born amidst conflict that has caused significant damage to healthcare facilities.
Osman Adam Abdelkarim, the head of child protection at Save the Children International in Sudan, expressed concern to VOA about the recent increase in violence in various areas of Sudan. This has raised fears for pregnant women and countless others within the organization.
According to him, the healthcare system in Wad Madani, located in Al Jazirah state, has deteriorated.
According to the speaker, there will not be any functioning healthcare facilities. Within the past three days, two doctors were killed and all medical personnel have been evacuated, leaving the area. Additionally, the supply chain to reach remote areas was highly problematic, hindering the transportation of drugs and availability of medical staff. This is causing disruptions in the entire supply chain system.
In light of the growing conflict, over 25,000 pregnant women have been forced to flee from violence. Save the Children has expressed concern that these women may face challenges accessing necessary healthcare and proper nutrition to care for their babies.
According to health professionals, the initial four weeks of a child’s life pose the greatest threat of mortality and present significant dangers for the mother as well. The majority of fatalities during this time are attributed to birth asphyxia, premature birth, or infections.
According to Hala al-Karib, the director of the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa, there is currently a lack of resources in Sudan to support women and children.
She stated that there will be a significant amount of fatalities among women and children due to the lack of infrastructure typically present during wartime. This is a major concern. Another problem is the failure of American and Saudi-led mediation efforts to establish safe havens for civilians.
In April, Sudan plunged into a state of armed conflict due to a disagreement between General Abdel Fatah al-Burhan, leader of the Sudanese Armed Forces, and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, leader of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. The disagreement centered around the transition from military rule to a civilian-led government.
According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, over 12,000 individuals have lost their lives since April.
The disagreement has resulted in over 4.3 million individuals being forced to leave their homes, with 1.1 million seeking refuge in neighboring nations.
According to Al-Karib, it is crucial for Sudanese civilians to have secure camps.
“The speaker expressed that the medical services and facilities have completely failed during this period. Despite multiple appeals to the international community for the establishment of safe camps with necessary services for civilians affected by the war since April, no action has been taken. The international community has neglected and disregarded their responsibilities towards Sudan, leaving the crisis unattended.”
The conflict has created obstacles for relief organizations to assist the millions of individuals requiring sustenance, hydration, and medical supplies, as the opposing sides have not permitted safe passage for humanitarian personnel through hazardous zones.
Save the Children is urging the global community to provide aid to the millions of Sudanese impacted by the conflict, and to keep in mind the well-being of their children and mothers during this challenging period.