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Sudan: Violent attacks leave tens of thousands in West Darfur without access to healthcare

Violent attacks in and around Kreneik town and fighting in El Genina, in West Darfur, leaving wounded and sick people in desperate need without access to lifesaving medical care

Mobile clinic in Kreneik, the latest MSF intervention before the violence re-started

Since Sunday 24 April, all essential healthcare services have been disrupted by a fresh wave of violent attacks in and around Kreneik town and fighting in El Genina, in West Darfur, leaving wounded and sick people in desperate need without access to lifesaving medical care. In both locations MSF supported the two main health facilities. Four days after the attack the situation remains fragile and tense, with our teams continuing to hear occasional shooting.

The attacks on healthcare killed four hospital staff, and saw patients and staff flee in fear for their lives, as shooting took place within the health facilities. Our team was informed that all our patients had fled, also mothers who had their children on oxygen interrupted their treatment and fled with their kids. “The inpatient department was full of patients, as well as the outpatient department and triage area. There were approximately 200 people waiting for consultations.” said Emily Wambugu, MSF Project Medical Referent working in El Geneina Teaching Hospital at the time of the attack.

Insecurity has spread over the past months to different parts of West Darfur, making it extremely difficult for MSF to assist communities who have been displaced and affected by the recurrent attacks. The most recent violent attack that started in Kreneik on Sunday, lead once again terrified families to flee from makeshift settlement to makeshift settlement, in desperate search for safety.

“It is stressing because when you think about the hospital and all the number of lives, we have been saving every day, very desperate children coming for hospitalisation, and now we are not able to manage anyone of them. It’s not easy for us, but there is nothing we can do as we still feel it is not safe to move out and move to the hospital.” said Emily Wambugu

Listen to Emily Wambugu's account of the situation 

MSF runs different projects in West Darfur state. Until the attack we provided humanitarian assistance and healthcare services to both the internally displaced and local communities through fixed and mobile clinics in and around El Geneina city and supported the El Geneina Teaching Hospital and the main healthcare facility in Kreneik town.

Yesterday, an MSF team was able to assess the status of some primary healthcare clinics and visited several gathering sites with newly displaced families, that had run for their lives from the fighting inside the city of El Geneina. We are closely following the security situation to ensure that we can restart medical activities and to adapt the movement of mobile clinics to new sites where people are now sheltering, to provide much needed medical care and humanitarian assistance as soon as it is safe to do so.


MSF is working in Sudan since 1978. In recent years our operations are focusing on Khartoum, Gedaref, Blue Nile, Kassala, East Darfur, West Darfur, South and Central Darfur states, with emergency teams launching interventions in other areas as needed.

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