WHO raises concerns on Sudan rising attacks on health facilities and health workers

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the World Health Organization (WHO) is displayed at the headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, April 15, 2020. (Photo by Martial Trezzini/Keystone via CFP)
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the World Health Organization (WHO) is displayed at the headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, April 15, 2020. (Photo by Martial Trezzini/Keystone via CFP)

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

According to WHO’s Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr.Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the Organization is following the escalating crisis “with great concern”.

So far, 11 incidents have been confirmed in the capital, Khartoum, and other cities.

Most of these attacks were committed against healthcare workers in the form of physical assault, obstruction, violent searches, and related psychological threats and intimidation”, said Dr. Al-Mandhari.

At least two of the confirmed incidents involved raids and incursions by military personnel on facilities, he said. Others included arrests of patients and workers, as well as injury, detention, and forced searches.

“These targeted attacks on healthcare workers, patients and facilities are a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and must stop now”, added the WHO official.

The reports of increased attacks come against the backdrop of widespread and continued protests across Sudan, over the full military takeover, last October, ending transitional civilian power-sharing arrangements.

WHO is now calling for an immediate cessation of all activities that endanger the lives of health care workers and patients or impede the delivery of essential health services.