WHO appalled by horrific attack on maternity hospital in El Fasher, Sudan

Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday said that heavy fighting in Sudan hit a new low over the weekend when a maternity hospital in besieged El Fasher city came under attack, killied a pharmacy worker and prompted new calls for the violence to stop.

Head of the World Health Organization said that the attack on the only maternity hospital in North Darfur is “shocking and appalling,” calling on warring parties to “protect mothers and children at all times and allow them safe access to healthcare” in the Sudan.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that the Saudi Maternity Hospital was “the only one that has been providing maternal and child healthcare” in El Fasher.

The development comes after more than 14 months of fighting between rival militaries in Sudan.

Media reports pointed to “a Rapid Support Forces bombing” of the hospital in El Fasher, and home to hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the war.

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan Clementine Nkweta-Salami released more details on the death of pharmacist Amna Ahmed Bakhit: “Killed on the job, prescribing and administering medicine to women, men and children in a place that should have been safe,” said in a post on X.

Ms. Nkweta-Salami added “From bullets or bombs, starvation or disease, each soul lost to this senseless war takes Sudan another inexorable step away from what we all want. Peace.”

She called for an end to the brutal fighting.

“Mothers and babies must be protected at all times and allowed safe access to healthcare. Healthcare workers must be able to work in safety”, Tedros emphasized.

He added that despite the attack, the hospital continues to function thanks to the dedication of its staff working in dire conditions.

El Fasher has seen intense fighting between the former allies who went to war with each other 14 months ago.

UN and the international community called to prevent Sudan from falling into a humanitarian catastrophe that could push millions into starvation, due to food shortages caused by fighting that has spread to 12 of the country’s 18 states.

According to UNICEF, people in Khartoum, Darfur and Kordofan states continue to be deprived of food and health assistance, and child malnutrition in Sudan is reaching emergency levels.

Some 9 million children are facing acute food insecurity.

WFP food security analysis has identified 44 hunger hotspots in Sudan mainly in areas of active fighting such as Khartoum, Kordofan, Darfur and Gezira where 2.6 million people are at high risk of falling into the extreme phase five of the IPC5..

UN emergency food assistance agency is boosting its operations to stave off famine. WFP is prioritising these areas and has provided food assistance to 22 of the hunger hotspots since January.

UN agency said it has reached over 3 million people and plans to reach an additional 5 million through general food assistance, nutrition, school meals and resilience activities throughout the year.

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