Sudan doctors: East Nile hospital closes after RSF attacks

MSF surgeons treat a patient at the Bashayer University Hospital in south Khartoum (File photo: MSF)

The Sharg El Nil (East Nile) Emergency Room announced the temporary closure of the Alban El Jadeed Hospital on Saturday due to an attack by a Rapid Support Forces (RSF) troops on hospital staff.

The emergency room says in a statement that a number of RSF members physically assaulted a doctor while she was doing her work. The RSF cadres also opened fire in front of the hospital to intimidate and threaten all volunteers, workers and medical staff inside the hospital, the statement says.

The doctors therefore decided to temporarily close the hospital for the safety of patients and all volunteers and hospital staff. They hold the RSF, as the controlling force in the area, responsible for the safety of medical staff, and threaten to close the hospital permanently if volunteers and staff are exposed and their lives threatened again.

The Sudanese Doctors Union, in consultation with the emergency room, has decided to close the doors of the Alban El Jadeed Hospital, “to preserve the safety of the staff and volunteers”.

The hospital was also closed temporarily for similar reasons in May, because of “RSF members frequently entering the hospital, their shooting inside the corridors, and assaults on patients, their companions, and medical staff”.

About 70 per cent of health facilities in Sudan’s conflict zones are out of service as a result of attacks during the ongoing war. The situation is dire, and UNICEF and the WHO warn that that more than 10,000 children will die by the end of this year as a result of further attacks and disruptions to health and nutrition services in Sudan.

Medical supplies are running critically low in Sudan, and last week, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced the suspension its support of surgical operations at Bashayer Teaching Hospital in southern Khartoum, due to a critical shortage of necessary supplies that has persisted for a month.