Sudan: MSF denounces looting of El Geneina Teaching Hospital

The hospital has been a lifeline for all communities across West Darfur

At the paediatric ward in El Geneina Teaching Hospital in the IPD.

El Geneina Teaching Hospital, Sudan 2022 © Majd Aljunaid/MSF

April 28, 2023—A major referral hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Sudan's West Darfur state, El Geneina Teaching Hospital, has been directly affected by fighting, and parts of the hospital were looted during a violent intrusion over the past two days, MSF said today in a statement denouncing the attack.

Widespread looting and destruction have been reported across the city of El Geneina, including burning of property and attacks at the central market, gathering sites, and camps where displaced people are living.

Sylvain Perron, MSF deputy operations manager for Sudan, gave the following statement today:

"It is utterly unacceptable to see the El Geneina Teaching Hospital and other facilities under attack, looted, and running out of staff and supplies. We are deeply concerned about the safety of health care staff and our teams in West Darfur. Many people are trapped in the midst of this deadly violence. They fear risking their safety and lives trying to reach the rare health facilities that are still functional and open.

"For years, MSF has been providing medical assistance to all communities in West Darfur, who have been frequently affected by violence and who otherwise have no access to health care.

"In El Geneina Teaching Hospital, MSF managed the pediatric and nutrition inpatient departments, infection prevention control measures, and water and sanitation services. Over the years we have witnessed a steady stream of patients coming not just from El Geneina city and the nearest camps for displaced families, but from all over West Darfur state."

MSF prepares to scale up activities in Sudan

Read more

"The current fighting has forced us to stop almost all of our activities in West Darfur. Our teams had not been able to reach the hospital, nor could they conduct mobile clinic activities in the nomadic communities of Galala, Mogshasha, Wadi Rati, and Gelchek. We have been able to continue providing services in Kreinik hospital to date, but we have seen a reduction in the number of patients coming from outside the town.

"We are incredibly worried about the impact this violence has on people who have lived through waves of violence in previous years, preventing them from seeking the medical care they desperately need. The humanitarian and medical needs are immense.

"Our teams in West Darfur are closely following the situation to ensure that we can safely continue to provide much-needed medical care and humanitarian assistance. We are ready to scale up our response to meet the growing needs. To do so, we need to be able to ensure the safety and security for all our staff and patients.

"We demand that all health facilities, including hospitals, clinics, warehouses, and ambulances, and their staff are respected and protected by all parties to the conflict. We reiterate our calls to all parties to the conflict to avoid civilian areas and to spare civilian lives.

"We urgently call on all parties to the conflict to immediately cease attacks on medical facilities and ensure that patients can receive the medical care they desperately need.”

Lack of water, power, and fuel impact lifesaving care in Sudan

Read more
About MSF in Sudan

MSF-supported facilities continue to provide medical care in Sudan. Medical teams are working in Kreinik, West Darfur; Rokero, Central Darfur; Um Rakuba and Tinedba, Gedaref state; and Damazin, Blue Nile state. In El Fasher, North Darfur state, the MSF-supported hospital continues to receive large numbers of wounded people. The teams  at El Fasher hospital are working around the clock to treat the injured, and this is currently the only health facility still operational in the city. Since the conflict erupted in mid-April, 410 people have made it to El Fasher hospital, and 55 conflict-related deaths have been recorded. Elsewhere in the country, the MSF compound and warehouse in Nyala were looted, forcing us to cease all medical and humanitarian activities in South Darfur.