Sudan Hospitals Struggle With Casualties From Battle

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At the Khartoum Teaching Hospital, people wounded during street battles flowed into the wards. Supplies were running low, with doctors, nurses, patients and their relatives trapped inside for days as the Sudanese capital turned into a war zone.

One of the wards was heavily damaged by shelling.

“We are running out of everything,” Dr. Amin Saad said “We are working with the least possible capabilities. … We’re all exhausted and there is a shortage of physicians.”

Not long afterward, the hospital shut down completely with staff, patients, and relatives stuck inside as clashes raged throughout the neighborhood. It was one of at least 12 hospitals shuttered in the capital area because they were damaged in the fighting, were inaccessible because of clashes, or had run out of fuel, according to the Doctors’ Syndicate.

Khartoum’s hospitals have been thrown into chaos by the explosion of violence between Sudan’s two top generals. People have been unable to leave their homes since Saturday as the two sides engaged in gun battles and bombarded each other with artillery and airstrikes. More than 180 people have been killed and over 1,800 wounded since the fighting erupted, U.N. envoy Volker Perthes said.

There are some 20 hospitals in the capital and the neighboring city of Omdurman. Those that still managed to operate were understaffed and overwhelmed, running low on supplies and struggling with power or water cuts, doctors said.

The sudden outbreak of fighting caught everyone off guard, trapping doctors and nurses inside hospitals, and preventing other staff from reaching the facilities.

“I tried multiple times this past two days but was forced to return home because of the battles,” said Dr. Sara Mohi, who has been unable to get to the hospital where she works in central Khartoum.

The situation is “extremely dire,” said Atiya Abdulla Atiya of the Doctors’ Syndicate.

The World Health Organization said many hospitals in Khartoum reported shortages of “blood, transfusion equipment, intravenous fluids, medical supplies, and other life-saving commodities.”

Staff evacuate patients from the Al-Shaheed Salma kidney treatment clinic amid clashes with gunfire ringing out, staffers ducked and rushed to a gurney with a patient across the street. Another facility, the Police Hospital was evacuated, the syndicate said.

Head of the International Hospital in Khartoum’s northern Bahri district Dr. Ossama al-Shazly, took to social media to appeal for fuel to keep generators running after power was cut to the neighborhood.

The situation is very critical. We want people to provide fuel,” he said, adding that many patients needed surgeries and others were in intensive care units, with no place to evacuate them to.



AP/ Oyenike Oyeniyi