SUDAN – Sudan is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) to support local health authorities in responding to reoccurring health emergencies such as disease outbreaks.
Sudan, the World Health Organization and ECHO have partnered to help address the challenges facing health authorities in containing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and associated deaths in the country as well as help scale up local response and emergency preparedness.
The WHO and European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations also provided support to Khartoum State in Sudan to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and scale up the response to other health emergencies such as traumatic injuries.
Sudan has received 15 vehicles, payment for rapid response teams, capacity-building, provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) and test kits as well as technical support on surveillance data management with support from the World Health Organization.
The targeted health care centres rank highest in terms of utilization and catchment population size in Khartoum State. During subsequent COVID-19 waves, primary health care centre functionality was maintained with no shortages of personal protective equipment reported.
According to WHO, Sudan was inadequately equipped to access the homes of suspected COVID-19 cases in Khartoum State’s 3 main localities namely Khartoum, Bahri and Omdurman at the onset of the pandemic due to lack of vehicles, lack of payment for rapid response teams and lack of PPE.
The international public health agency also donated seven ambulances equipped with personal protective equipment and medical supplies to transport COVID-19 patients from community to primary isolation centers and from hospitals to secondary isolation centers in the country.
In addition, WHO has collaborated with ECHO in providing essential medications, intensive care equipment and consumables along with capacity-building for more than 400 clinical staff at isolation centers in 6 of Sudan’s states for better case management.
The partnership between WHO and ECHO comes at a time when Sudan has been adversely affected by recurring health risks and emergencies coupled with the country’s fragile economy and political unrest which continue to grow beyond the country’s ability to respond.
The training of ambulance staff on trauma patient care during transfer along with the provision of trauma-related supplies and comprehensive ambulance system will ensure that wounded patients associated with the ongoing civil unrest and demonstrations are properly attended to.
The partnership seeks to strengthen Sudan’s health system particularly the public health care system which is plagued by limitations in the routine supply of essential medicines and infection prevention and control consumables leading to healthcare services interruption.
WHO has established infection prevention and control programs and assigned focal persons at over 100 public health centers in 7 localities in Khartoum State which has significantly helped in maintaining operational services and increasing utilization rates.
The World Health Organization confirmed that a referral system based on the donated ambulances was established to transfer wounded patients from first line hospitals to 18 emergency care units in the state with triage maintained at target facilities.
Additionally, WHO has provided personal protective equipment and infection prevention control supplies to all targeted health facilities on a monthly basis while ensuring their rational use with training and supportive supervision to nearly 900 public health care workers.
The global United Nations health body further revealed that minor rehabilitation for basic infection prevention and control such as triage area, water supply, waste management and maintenance of latrine service is ongoing at public health care centers in Sudan.
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