Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - Dozens of health facilities supported by the World Health Organization in strife-torn areas of Sudan risk closure due to a lack of funds, exposing one million people to likely epidemics. Eleven clinics have already been shut in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan where years of fighting between government troops and black African rebels has forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. As an acute cash crunch worsens, another 49 facilities in these regions are also at risk, stated the WHO head in Sudan, in a statement sent to Fides.
The closures could impact immunisation services, while some 323,000 women of child-bearing age and children under five will lack access to health care. A heightened risk of epidemics is likely... with people having to travel long distances to access available health care services. More than half of these facilities are in Darfur, where more than two million and a half people were displaced. Years of conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile have caused the displacement of 600,000 people. In Sudan 25% of all South Sudanese seeking shelter who fled the wars were welcomed. We are talking about over 250 thousand people.
Funding for Sudan's health care sector has fallen in the past two or three years. The cash crunch faced by WHO and other NGOs is so severe that many clinics have no money even to buy medicines or to pay staff wages. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 21/12/2016)