According to the UN refugee agency (UNCHR) and the World Health Organization (WHO), thousands of children in Sudan are at risk due to a healthcare crisis and ongoing conflict. These children are living in nine refugee camps in Sudan’s White Nile state, and their lives are in danger from outbreaks of diseases such as measles, cholera, dengue, and malaria.
The UN refugee chief, Filippo Grandi, has emphasized that the world has the means and the money to prevent these deaths. He called for an immediate end to the fighting and for more financial support for the emergency response in Sudan. Currently, the UN’s 2023 Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan is only 30% funded.
The healthcare situation in Sudan is dire. UNHCR reported more than 3,100 suspected measles cases and over 500 suspected cholera cases between May and September. There have also been outbreaks of dengue and malaria. Dr. Allen Maina, the Chief of Public Health at UNHCR, stated that the healthcare system in the country has been brought to its knees.
The WHO estimates that 11 million people in Sudan require health assistance. Dr. Ilham Nour, the lead for the WHO’s health operations team in Sudan, reported that 3.4 million children under five are acutely malnourished, and millions of people require care for chronic diseases. Additionally, up to 80% of hospitals in conflict-affected states are not functional.
The lack of access to treatment and attacks on health and nutrition services have raised concern for the lives of newborns in Sudan. UNICEF predicts that “many thousands of newborns” may die in Sudan by the end of the year. UNICEF spokesperson James Elder emphasized the urgent care needed for the 333,000 children expected to be born between October and December.
The education crisis is also worsening in Sudan, with 12 million children waiting for schools to reopen. Mr. Elder highlighted the dedication and courage of Sudan’s frontline public service workers who have not received a salary in months and are facing rampant inflation.
The situation in Sudan requires immediate action and support from the international community to prevent further loss of lives and ensure the well-being of children and vulnerable populations.
– UN Refugee Agency (UNCHR)
– World Health Organization (WHO)
– UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)