30 December 2016 – Lack of funding for heath in Sudan has resulted in the closure of 11 health facilities and left another 49 facilities at risk of closure, impacting around a million people, including 323 000 women of childbearing age and children under 5 who will lack access to maternal/child health care.
An estimated 769 000 people are either affected or at risk of being affected by the closure of health facilities, a number that is currently exacerbated by the high influx of refugees. The closure of health facilities will only add to the existing risk of epidemics due to limited access to primary health care services among IDPs and host communities. Immediate consequences of the closure of health facilities are a drop in immunization services and maternal/child health care, a heightened risk of epidemics, and increased morbidity and mortality rates.
"While the Federal Ministry of Health has been fully engaged in finding solutions for continuity, we collectively acknowledge that funds are needed to continue supporting clinics in remote areas that provide people with health services during this time of transition. A heightened risk of epidemics is likely ... with people having to travel long distances to access available health care services," said Dr Naeema Al-Gasseer, WHO Representative in Sudan.
The health sector in Sudan has been grossly underfunded over the past 3 years, with donors focusing on emergencies in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. As 2016 comes to an end, health sector requirements for 2016 are only 42% funded.