Sudan | News | Meet WHO's health workers: Wafeeg, National Public Health Officer in Kassala

Meet WHO's health workers: Wafeeg, National Public Health Officer in Kassala

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Every day, WHO staff are at work saving lives and improving the health of the people of Sudan. On World Humanitarian Day, we celebrate humanitarian aid workers by shining a light on their work.

Meet Wafeeg Babiker Abu Elnoor, National Public Health Officer in Kassala.

Wafeeg (third from right) during a supervision mission (Photo: Wafeeg Babiker Abu Elnoor/WHO).Wafeeg (third from right) during a supervision mission (Photo: Wafeeg Babiker Abu Elnoor/WHO).

Hi Wafeeg! How long have you been with WHO?

“Almost 10 and half years, since February 2007! I started working on communicable diseases, became an HIV Offier after about three years, and since 2013 I’ve been in charge of the East Sudan office here in Kassala.”

Can you tell us what your most impressive day was during those years?

“I remember an important day in 2012: World Blood Donation day, on June 14th. For the occasion, we conducted the first-ever awareness raising and blood donation campaign in East Sudan. I also recall a day in April 2015, when we finished a project strengthening 11 laboratories and blood banks in rural health facilities. Finalizing such a big initiative, one of the biggest WHO efforts in support of health systems in East Sudan, really impressed me.”

Understandable - and thank you for the work you and your fellow WHO Staff are doing! Speaking of fellow WHO Staff, is there anyone who has inspired you especially over the years? Someone you look up to?

“Two people come to mind. Firstly, Dr. Yakoub Vaid, who led this office from 2006 to 2010. He taught me so much about public health, and guided my first steps within WHO. Secondly, I have to mention our current country Representative, Dr. Naeema Al Gasseer. As a leader she always inspires me.”

During floods, WHO does whatever it takes to get medicine to places that are difficult to reach. (Photo: Wafeeg Babiker Abu Elnoor/WHO).

What is your biggest hope and your biggest fear for the future?

“My biggest hope is to see peace all over Sudan, and for all Sudanese people to have easy access to sustainable, complete, integrated and affordable health services. My biggest fear is that the state of emergency in many parts of Sudan will continue or worsen, with increasing disease outbreaks every year. My work at WHO is aimed at preventing the second scenario, and achieving the first!”

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 40 783
Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure) 7.2
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 311
Primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 1.5
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 65.1

Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

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