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MSF: ‘Hundreds of Lives at Risk as Logistics Ban in Sudan Capital Strangles Supply

International medical relif organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has said it may have to halt surgical operations at the Turkish hospital in southern Khartoum, noting that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), who control much of the city, will not allow surgical supplies to be transported to hospitals in rapid support areas.

It said in a statement this week that the ban is putting the lives of hundreds of people at risk and called for the ban to be lifted immediately. It considered this contrary to medical ethics, and contravenes the international laws of war.

The ban has been in place since early September, and Sudanese authorities reported it to MSF on 2 October, with the aim of preventing wounded soldiers from receiving life-saving treatment in the capital.

She stressed that the ban contravenes the laws of war and the Jeddah Declaration, warning of the deaths of hundreds of civilians as a result of the decision in the coming weeks.

Claire Nicollet, head of MSF’s emergency department in Sudan, said two-thirds of his surgeries at the Turkish hospital were caesarean sections, noting that 170 surgeries had been performed in the past two months.

She says MSF is treating war-wounded people based on their medical needs. It is against medical ethics to refuse life-saving treatment to anyone – regardless of whether they are fighting or caught in the crossfire.

The organisation says it was forced to stop performing surgeries at Bashaer Hospital in October due to the ban, noting that the Turkish hospital is the only facility in southern Khartoum that has a fully functioning operating room. Nicollet confirmed that the Turkish hospital received 128 wounded and following two incidents that resulted in mass injuries on November 12 and 13, several surgeries have already been performed, as a result of which there is no longer enough supplies in the hospital enough for one month.

The operating rooms of the Turkish hospital are threatened with closure if surgical supplies are not allowed, the organisation said, adding to the death toll during the ongoing war.

Humanitarian workers have been denied travel permits, stressing that no member of the medical staff – whether Sudanese or foreign – has received permission to travel to southern Khartoum to work since early October. Although the Sudanese Armed Forces committed during the talks in Jeddah to allow 90 trucks of relief supplies to travel to Khartoum, so far no convoys have arrived at their destinations. Travel permits for trucks of the organisation of doctors Limitless prohibited).

The statement stressed that MSF supplies and staff were ready and waiting in civilian friendliness, and that the armed forces were effectively preventing the provision of medical care to the residents of its capital.

Source: Radio Dabanga