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Medics in Sudanese capital call for unhindered movement

April 23 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Sudanese doctors on strike in Khartoum, October 2016 (El Hurriyat)
Sudanese doctors on strike in Khartoum, October 2016 (El Hurriyat)

Health personnel working in Khartoum complain about being stopped by policemen and other security agents at check points in the city, though they are exempted from the three-week lockdown that started on Saturday. The Minister of Health has offered his apologies for not providing enough Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs).

On Wednesday, the medical staff members of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital in Omdurman laid down their tools for several hours, in protest against the brief detention of their director for “violating anti-Covid-19 measures” in the city.

A police force intercepted Hamid Mubasher, Director of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital, when he was on his way to the hospital, the Sudan United Doctors Office said in a statement later that day.

They took him to the Northern Police Department in Khartoum, although he identified himself as a doctor and the vehicle he was driving clearly shows he is exempted from the lockdown imposed for three weeks in the capital.

“It is the duty of the High Committee for Health Emergencies established by the Sovereign Council to facilitate the tasks of medical staff,” the doctors stated. “What is happening now does not indicate good will. Medics are stopped at check points and provoked, and even held in jails, despite their work cards prove they are doctors.”

“What is happening now does not indicate good will. Medics are stopped at check points and provoked, and even held in jails, despite their work cards prove they are doctors.” - the United Doctors Office

The United Doctors Office also denounced the authorities’ “failure to give medical personnel priority at petrol stations which hinders them in reaching the hospitals, and impedes their work in a way that affects patients and the general health of the society”.

In response, the Sudanese police asserted that they “will exert all efforts to inform its personnel of the need to adhere to good conduct”. In a press statement on Wednesday afternoon, the police said they “cherish the partnership of state and civil society institutions” and are proud of all Sudanese medics.

Minister of Health Akram El Tom expressed his concerns about medical staff being abused at check points in the Sudanese capital. In a televised speech on Wednesday, he apologised to the medics in the country for not having enough special clothing, masks, and headgear to protect them.

Radio Dabanga reported on Tuesday that the shortage of PPEs prompted many doctors to stay at home.


Radio Dabanga’s editorial independence means that we can continue to provide factual updates about political developments to Sudanese and international actors, educate people about how to avoid outbreaks of infectious diseases, and provide a window to the world for those in all corners of Sudan. Support Radio Dabanga for as little as €2.50, the equivalent of a cup of coffee.


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