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Chad: Over 600 war-wounded arrive from Sudan in just three days

Adré hospital struggles to meet demand with only one surgical team and approximately 430 people in need of surgical care

Chad 2023 © Johnny Bissakonou/MSF

This press release has been updated to reflect the total number of patients seen. Today alone, the number of wounded patients arriving for treatment at Adré hospital is now 348 instead of 50, as first reported.

NEW YORK, JUNE 16, 2023—As violence rages in West Darfur and forces people to flee Sudan, teams with the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the ministry of health have received at least 622 wounded people at the Adré hospital in Chad in just the last three days. Approximately 430 of these refugees in search of safety need surgical care for injuries like gunshot wounds.

“The situation is frankly overwhelming, but everyone is doing their utmost to cope with it,” said Dr. Seybou Diarra, MSF project coordinator in Adré. “We've had to discharge stable pediatric patients to bring in the pediatrics medical team to help out. Additional staff from the Chadian Ministry of Health are also working with us, and some of the off-duty staff were called back to lend a hand. But with only one surgical team in place, we are overwhelmed in the operating theater. We urgently need more beds and more staff.”

A large number of the wounded are coming from in and around El Geneina, the capital of Sudan's West Darfur state, which is the scene of ongoing and intense violence. Local sources report that at least 1,100 people have been killed in El Geneina city since the conflict began in mid-April. Yesterday alone, MSF treated at least 242 wounded people who arrived in Adré—with an additional 348 wounded brought into the hospital today.

“After nearly two months, we are only now starting to see people managing to escape from El Geneina and make their way to Chad,” said Claire Nicolet, MSF head of emergency programs. “Thousands of people are likely to remain stranded in El Geneina amid intensifying and large-scale attacks.”

MSF, which has been working in Adré since 2021, set up a small emergency surgical unit in the district hospital a month ago in response to the conflict raging on the other side of the border. Teams are also expanding medical activities to meet the increasing needs of Sudanese refugees in the area. Approximately 6,000 people have fled El Geneina and taken refuge in Adré over the last few days, joining more than 100,000 others who have already fled Sudan for safety in eastern Chad since mid-April.

Humanitarian aid must immediately be scaled up to respond to refugees' most pressing needs while supporting the Chadian communities that are hosting them.

Sudan crisis response