Destruction, disruption and disaster: Sudan’s health system amidst armed conflict

Dafallah, A., Elmahi, O.K.O., Ibrahim, M.E. et al.
Publication language
Date published
17 Sep 2023
BMC Conflict and Health
Case study
Conflict, violence & peace, Working in conflict setting, Health

The ongoing armed conflict in Sudan has resulted in a deepening humanitarian crisis with significant implications for the country's health system, threatening its collapse. This article examines the destruction, disruption, and disastrous consequences inflicted upon Sudan's health system. The conflict has led to the severe compromise of healthcare facilities, with only one-third of hospitals in conflict zones operational. Artillery attacks, forced militarization, power outages, and shortages of medical supplies and personnel have further crippled the health system. The exodus of health workers and escalating violence have exacerbated the crisis. Disrupted service delivery has resulted in the interruption of essential health services, including obstetric care, emergency services, and dialysis. Financial losses to the health system are estimated at $700 million, impacting an already underfunded sector. We identify that in addition to restoration of peace and mobilization of urgent aid, immediate prioritization of the reconstruction of the health system is crucial to mitigate the long-term consequences of the war. Rebuilding a resilient health system is sine qua non for Sudan's progress towards universal health.