Sudan: MSF condemns attack on ambulance taking pregnant woman to hospital

Umo and Rokero Central Darfur

Sudan 2020 © MSF

NAIROBI/NEW YORK, April 9, 2021—The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) condemns the recent carjacking of an MSF ambulance transporting a patient in Sudan's Darfur region.

On the morning of April 3, a clearly marked MSF ambulance was carjacked while traveling from Rokero, in the mountainous Jebel Marra area of Darfur, en route to Al-Fasher hospital. The passengers, who included a pregnant woman being referred to the hospital for emergency treatment, had all their belongings stolen and were left by the roadside in a remote location. All four people in the vehicle—the patient, her caretaker, a midwife, and driver—are now safe. After they were found, the patient was able to continue her journey to the hospital and receive the treatment she needed. MSF provides medical care in a hospital in Rokero run by the Ministry of Health and typically refers patients to Al-Fasher when more advanced medical care is required.

Monica Camacho, MSF program manager for East Africa, said:

"We condemn this attack on health care in the strongest possible terms. It is shocking that anyone would attack an ambulance which was carrying a pregnant woman to the hospital for emergency treatment. Fortunately, the patient—an expectant mother and her unborn child—did not suffer medical consequences as a result of this attack. MSF has now been forced to stop all referrals to Al-Fasher hospital until we can guarantee the safety of patients and of medical staff. We are calling on all parties in the area to respect the delivery of much-needed medical humanitarian aid."

In Rokero, MSF manages the inpatient department, emergency and maternity wards, and delivery rooms of the Ministry of Health hospital. MSF also runs an observation room where patients' conditions can be monitored by medical staff and an inpatient therapeutic feeding center for malnourished children.