Exceptional number of war surgeries show suffering in Khartoum

Today marks two months since heavy fighting broke out in Khartoum and rapidly spread to other areas of Sudan. MSF’s surgical team working in Bashair Teaching Hospital in Khartoum sees the suffering caused by this conflict every day. In five weeks, the team has received over 1,150 patients in the emergency room, 906 of whom have suffered violent trauma.

This is a profoundly chaotic and violent situation that almost defies comparison. I cannot recall any time in recent years when MSF has treated anything like the number of trauma cases or done as many major surgeries as we have done in Khartoum.
Raphael Veicht
MSF Emergency Coordinator

Of the trauma patients received, 395 (34 percent) suffered gunshot wounds, including children younger than five years old. Another 266 (23 percent) suffered blast wounds caused by explosions, for example from shelling or airstrikes.

A bullet extracted from a patient. Bullet wounds are one of the most common cases treated at Bashair hospital on a daily basis. ©Ala Kheir
Jessica Comi (left) and Dr Federica Iezzi extracting a bullet from a patient. He was struck by a stray bullet above the knee. ©Ala Kheir

As well as heavy fighting, areas of Khartoum are experiencing a rise in violence associated with crime and lawlessness: 183 (16 percent) patients were admitted with stab wounds and another 62 (five percent) were victims of assault.

More patients are arriving at Bashair Hospital as it is the only accessible hospital in southern Khartoum. With the presence of MSF team, Bashair can support most of the critical cases and other departments at the hospital have started to operate as well. ©Ala Kheir

Over a period of five weeks, teams in the hospital performed 379 surgical procedures. Eight percent of patients undergoing surgery were children under the age of 15. MSF has recently set up a dedicated paediatric trauma ward to provide specialised care.

The needs are huge and the fighting and violence show no signs of ending. We urgently need to be able to bring in more staff to be able to keep providing life-saving emergency and surgical care.
Will Harper
MSF Head of Mission in Sudan

MSF works in eleven states in Sudan, including in Khartoum and in Darfur. In Khartoum, we provide surgical care in two hospitals continues to support several other hospitals in the city as well as in other parts of the country.

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