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Sudan's health system 'weak and limited in capacity', doctors on strike

April 29 - 2021 KHARTOUM / SENNAR / NYALA
Doctors at an earlier protest in Khartoum (social media)
Doctors at an earlier protest in Khartoum (social media)

Doctor Montasir Mohamed, Deputy Director of the General Department of Emergency and Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, described the Sudanese health system as “weak and limited in capacity” as Sudan’s third COVID-19 wave spreads across the country.

He confirmed that the Ministry of Health has taken a number of health precautions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These precautions include suspending passenger flights to and from India, compulsory COVID-19 tests for arrivals or transients from India, certificates for those who test negative, and mandatory quarantine procedures for those infected.

He also called on people to adhere to other health requirements and social distancing, “especially during the blessed Eid El Fitr”, the festival of breaking the fast that marks the end of the month of Ramadan.  

Doctor Mohamed warned that most mosques do not adhere to health precautions, such as spacing and using masks, during Tarawih prayers. He explained that any failure to adhere to the precautions will worsen the pandemic and the health situation in the country.

Doctors on strike

Doctors at Sennar Hospital went on strike because of the systematic assault on medical personnel in the surgery department on Tuesday. The doctors said in a statement that the strike includes partial suspension of work in the private sector and clinics.

The committee pledged to lift the strike when perpetrators are held accountable and brought to fair trials in accordance with the Law on Protection of Medical and Health Personnel. They demanded an improved work environment and the provision of life-saving medicines and also demanded that the regular armed forces adhere to hospital admission procedures.

In South Darfur, doctors at Nyala Hospital halted their strike, which had lasted for four days. They stopped striking because the perpetrators who had assaulted them were charged with several acts under the Health Personnel Protection Law.

Earlier this week, a sit-in by medical staff in Khartoum was raided and several protesters were injured. The El Tamiz Hospital sit-in began last week in protest against the decomposition of 190 bodies in the hospital mortuary.

Earlier this month, medical staff at the Kassala Teaching Hospital went on strike to demand fair salaries and an end to the personnel shortage.

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