Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health has described the health response by hospitals in Ed Damazin, capital of Blue Nile state, and neighbouring El Roseires to the many people affected by fierce fighting in the area as “good”, however the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors described the Blue Nile state Health Ministry as being ‘absent’.
The Ministry said in a statement yesterday that according to reports received from the Blue Nile state Health Ministry, the death toll has mounted to 105, and 291 people were injured.
Ed Damazin Royal Teaching Hospital reported in a statement on Monday that it registered 144 wounded people, including 81 with gunshot wounds. A number of seriously wounded people were transported to hospitals in Sennar and El Gezira, while 36 other critical cases were still waiting for transferral.
A humanitarian aid volunteer told Radio Dabanga from Ed Damazin yesterday that that 20 of the 31 seriously injured were transferred to Khartoum for treatment. He said in a phone call that there is an urgent need for surgeons and orthopaedics in Ed Damazin.
Activist Nahla El Badri told Radio Dabanga from Ed Damazin that the situation is tragic among the newly displaced, despite the relative calm that prevails following the bloody events in the region last week.
She said that at least 60 per cent of the women are of childbearing age. Many are pregnant or have just given birth, and should transported to hospitals to receive medical care.
‘State Health Ministry absent’
On Friday, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors described the Blue Nile state Health Ministry as being absent. “The El Roseires and Ed Damazin hospitals are flooded with casualties, and there are shortages in everything including medical workers who are doing their best in this complicated situation,” the doctors committee reported on its Facebook page.
Activist Ehab Babiker Ibrahim told Radio Dabanga from Ed Damazin that there are many corpses still scattered in the neighbourhoods of the town. He accused the Blue Nile state Ministry of Health as well as the government forces of neglecting to collect corpses from the streets, and leaving them exposed to rotting.
He said that most of the markets of El Roseires, Tamarin and Ganeis were torched and looted, which has caused a severe shortage of foodstuffs in the area.
He reported the arrival of government forces in small numbers to the streets of the town, while large numbers of tribesmen carrying sticks and knives are roaming the main streets.
He criticised to the lack of coordination between the government and aid organisations, and called on the government forces present in the town to use loudspeakers to reassure the newly displaced that aid will be provided to them.
A humanitarian aid volunteer, who asked to remain anonymous, reported that the humanitarian situation for those who fled the violence is very difficult.
“According to my estimation, about 18,000 men and women have been accommodated in six schools in the town. The number of children is at about 6,000 and the number of youth about 8,000,” he said.
“All these groups are located in a limited space provided by the buildings of six schools, which are crowded with a mixture of men, women, the elderly, and children. The overcrowding hinders the fair distribution of food, drink, and aid, collected by volunteers, though much more aid is needed.”
He pointed to the lack of sanitary facilities, and expressed his fear of the spread of epidemics, such as cholera.
He said that another inventory is taking place in El Roseires where many people found refuge at homes of the residents, at the rate of every 10 or 15 people in one house, with the lack of facilities and sufficient latrines for this number.
According to the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA), reinforcements from the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Forces (Abu Tira) have been dispatched by the Sudanese Security and Defence Committee in Khartoum to conflict areas in Blue Nile state and Kassala.
“The forces arrived in record time and immediately began to restore security and stability in both states, to reinforce security among the citizens and reimpose the Rule of Law’” SUNA says.