WHO Chad: 65 children dead in Sudan camps amid dire health conditions

Refugee children from Darfur playing with clay toys in Adré camp in Chad (Photo: Bashir Adam / Radio Dabanga)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Chad warns of dire health conditions for children in camps hosting Darfuri refugees, with 65 children reported dead because of malnourishment since th start of the war in Sudan on April 15.

WHO representative Dr Jean-Bosco Ndihokubwayo states in her recent report that there have also been seven maternal deaths and 10 as a result of untreated injuries.

Ndihokubwayo highlighted that Chad is now hosting 329,177 Sudanese refugees, most of whom are from West Darfur, an area that has been decimated by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and their allied Arab militant groups.

The doctor stated that they expect another significant influx by year-end, further straining health facilities in the neighbouring safe haven.

According to the WHO representative in Sudan, Dr Nima Said Abed, the urgent need for intervention and the suspension of immunisation activities amid concerns of worsening epidemics during the rainy season.

The health crisis in Sudan has escalated to extremely serious levels, with over two-thirds of hospitals still non-functional, and reports of attacks on health facilities on the rise. Dr Abed called on the international community to increase donor support in order to adequately deliver services.

In Khartoum, Doctor Ihsan Fagiri reported worsening health conditions due to the security situation. Health cadres are facing obstacles in accessing hospitals, obtaining medicines, and ensuring adequate protection.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, the medical doctor and women activist stated that the “delayed arrival of medical relief from abroad raises concerns about the current health crisis”, exacerbated by the rainy season leading to diseases and environmental pollution.

She called on the international community for “immediate attention and assistance” to mitigate the suffering of displaced children and address the deteriorating health conditions in Sudan.