SUDAN – A total of four planes from Egypt have arrived in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum, carrying 39 tons of medical supplies and equipment.

The planes were received at Khartoum International Airport by Acting Director General of Global Health Directorate at Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health Arwa Omer and the Egyptian Ambassador to Sudan Hossam Eissa.

Omer, speaking to reporters at the airport, expressed Sudan’s gratitude to the Egyptian government and people for their support.

This is not the first initiative from Egypt, as Egypt was one of the first countries to send medical support during the first wave of the COVID-19,” she said.

The grant will offer great support for hospitals that suffer from a shortage of these medicines and other necessary equipment.

The Egyptian ambassador, for his part, said the medical support included oxygen devices as well as all supplies such as cotton, gauze, serums and disinfectants.

The medical supplies also included antibiotics and other medicines as part of the cooperation between the health ministries in the two countries.

Despite internal efforts, healthcare in Sudan receives little international support. Compared with 50% of healthcare expenditure in Rwanda, only 5.4% of Sudan’s healthcare expenditure comes from external aid.

The Sudanese government spends a comparable amount on healthcare to other sub-Saharan countries.

Earlier this week, Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed has met with her Sudanese counterpart Omar Al-Najuib to discuss the Egyptian presidential initiative to treat 1 million people with Hepatitis C in Sudan.

Zayed confirmed that an Egyptian delegation recently completed preparations for five centers in Sudan to work on the initiative, and to train local doctors on diagnostic and treatment protocols.

The minister also referred to the provision of PCR tests and medical reagents, in addition to providing enough drug doses to treat 250,000 Sudanese citizens.

Mogahed noted that Zayed affirmed her keenness to support the localization of the pharmaceutical industry in Sudan, especially in the production of vital medicines.

Sudan continues to be confronted by political, security, and socio-economic challenges which compromise healthcare delivery. The political crisis in the South Sudan ended up with its secession in July 2011.