Scores of wounded flee to Chad as conflict in Sudan surges

Scores of wounded flee to Chad as conflict in Sudan surges

Scores of wounded flee to Chad as conflict in Sudan surges

Scores of wounded flee to Chad as conflict in Sudan surges

Seventy-two wounded people from Sudan have been treated at a hospital in Adré, eastern Chad, by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in partnership with local health authorities. The injuries are a result of fighting that has raged in Darfur and other regions of Sudan for more than six weeks, and has led to almost one-hundred thousand people fleeing to Chad since 15 April. 

“The wounded first arrived in dribs and drabs from mid-May onwards. Since then, around 50 people have poured in over the past few days,” says Christophe Garnier, MSF emergency coordinator. 

“Most people have sustained bullet wounds in clashes and attacks south of El Geneina in Masterei, a border town with around 80,000 inhabitants, including many displaced people from surrounding villages.”

The wounded typically reach the Chadian town of Goungour, around 10 km  from Masterei, where they are then referred by Ministry of Health and MSF teams to the hospital in Adré. The youngest patient received was three years old. 

Many people in critical condition are said to have been left behind, unable to travel to Chad or to access medical care in West Darfur, including in the capital El Geneina where the violence is particularly intense.  

“Refugees from West Darfur are reporting very disturbing scenes of violence, with armed men shooting at people trying to flee on foot, villages being looted and the wounded dying,” says Garnier. 

“The hospitals on the ground are short of staff, equipment and electricity, which is affecting their ability to function, if they have not already been put out of action by destruction and looting.”

MSF teams have been working in Adré since 2021 alongside the Chadian health authorities to meet the increased needs of the Sudanese refugees and the host community. The health centres in Adré, Hilouta and Mahamata have seen around a 40 per cent increase in paediatric consultations in the past week, partly linked to the arrival of new refugees in the area.

Our teams are also travelling to sites where refugees are gathered, such as Goungour, to offer medical consultations, and are carrying out vaccination campaigns to protect children against measles. More than 30,000 children have been vaccinated against measles in Koufroun, Diza, Midjiguilta and Goungour. We are also providing medical care to refugees and host communities in Sila province. 

“With the onset of the rainy season, the already precarious living conditions in the makeshift camps will worsen, and the flooding of rivers will complicate the possibilities of movement and supply,” says Garnier. 

“This period is also accompanied every year by a very high malaria prevalence, and corresponds to the most difficult months in terms of food insecurity and child malnutrition in the region.”

The cessation of trade with El Geneina, the region’s economic powerhouse, is also likely to exacerbate the surge in prices of staple foods in an area, which is highly vulnerable to food insecurity. The response to this crisis must also consider local communities and around 400,000 Sudanese refugees, who have been living in overcrowded and unsanitary camps for several years in eastern Chad.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).