Continued attacks on health facilities in Sudan deprive women of reproductive health care
05 May 2023
05 May 2023
UNFPA condemns the attack on a maternity hospital in Khartoum yesterday, which underscores the horrific toll the fighting is exacting on Sudan’s women and families.
To attack a hospital at a time when new life is beginning is an act of cruelty for which there can be no justification, and a clear breach of international humanitarian and human rights law.
Women and girls have a right to life-saving health care, and health facilities and hospitals should be safe havens in times of crisis and conflict.
Since the fighting began in Sudan on 15 April, at least 28 hospitals, including maternity hospitals, in Khartoum, and all hospitals in Geneina and Nyala in the Darfurs, have been attacked, killing at least eight and injuring 18 others. Life-saving care has also been disrupted for an estimated 219,000 pregnant women in Khartoum alone. Critical medical supplies, including for managing pregnancy complications, are also running dangerously low.
Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure – including maternity hospitals and health facilities – must stop immediately.
UNFPA-trained and supported midwives are taking great risks to travel to the homes of women to deliver babies and vital care where fighting makes it too dangerous for pregnant women to venture outside. Only the end of the violence will guarantee that women can get the critical care they need.
UNFPA echoes the Secretary-General’s call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, and urges all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians and the right to health. Humanitarian actors and health-care workers must be able to safely and quickly reach people with the essential health services, supplies and medicines they desperately need.
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