Regional Director statement on attacks on health care in Sudan

Cairo, Egypt, 18 April 2023 – WHO strongly condemns reported attacks on health personnel, health facilities, and ambulances in Sudan. These attacks, which appear to be increasing in number, have already led to at least three people killed and two injured. Moreover, they limit access to live saving health care, putting more lives at risk.

Reports of military strikes against health facilities, hijacking of ambulances while patients and paramedics are on board, looting of health facilities, and military forces occupying health facilities are deeply concerning.

Attacks on health care are a flagrant violation of international law and the right to health. They must stop now. Parties to the conflict must ensure safe access of patients, health personnel, and ambulances to hospitals at all times. Patients need access to health services not only to treat injuries, but for other essential and lifesaving services.

16 hospitals (including nine in Khartoum) are reportedly non-functional due to attacks and 16 hospitals in Khartoum and other states, including Darfur States, are close to being non-functional due to staff fatigue and lack of supplies.

Hospitals in Khartoum receiving injured people are reporting shortages of blood, transfusion equipment, intravenous fluids, medical supplies, and other life-saving commodities. Shortages of water, electricity, fuel, and food for patients are also being reported.

As challenges related to access to health care increase and health personnel face limited resources to treat patients, the safety and sanctity of health care must be always protected, especially in situations of conflict when access to life-saving services become even more vital.