Sudan doctors use helplines on social media to connect with those in need because hospitals are suffering amid the instability.
As hospitals and healthcare facilities struggle to operate or completely close because of the violence, Sudanese doctors have turned to the Internet to reach patients. On messaging apps like WhatsApp, individuals are setting up 24-hour phone numbers supported by hundreds of medics and experts. The World Health Organization estimates that just 16% of clinics in the city of Khartoum are working at full capacity. In an airstrike near the East Nile Centre in north Khartoum last week, at least four people—including a child—were killed, while Doctors Without Borders claimed that the El Geneina Medical Centre in west Darfur had been taken on April 28. The army detained two individuals who were working on opening a hospital in Bahri for days before releasing them on Monday. Doctors across the nation are reporting death threats. “The number of casualties of non-violence – patients who don’t have access to the health places of work, good care, or medications – is increasing,” said Dr Khalid Elsheikh Ahmedana, an MSF health director based in Khartoum.
For people with persistent illnesses and babies, the situation is critical. Patients who need dialysis due to kidney failure, those having heart disease, cancer, or hemophilia, as well as newborns as well as women in require maternity and gynecological treatment, find it extremely challenging, according to Elsheikh Ahmedana. Volunteer doctors and midwives are using WhatsApp to contact patients. Elsheikh Ahmedan stated that “they attempt to get women in a relationship with a midwife who lives in the region so that they may have babies in their homes.” But we’re unsure if they have enough [medical] supplies to carry out clean and safe births.
According to UN statistics, Sudan had a high rate of maternal death before the war, at 295 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births.
Medical professionals from Sudan and overseas are also responding to the issue by manning free, round-the-clock helplines that are accessible to anybody in the nation in need of medical guidance. Two days after the violence began, the Sudanese Doctors Organisation in Qatar set up a helpline. The hotline, which has provided consultations to numerous people, is manned by 136 doctors representing over 36 different disciplines, the association claims. The organization plans to launch a different, psychologist- and psychiatric-staffed mental health helpline. People come in with all kinds of diseases, from gynecological disorders to skin conditions, according to Omair Zain, a Sudanese doctor working out of Doha who runs the helpline. “When a caller calls in, the doctor who handles triage calls speaks to them first before referring them to a specialist. Triage shifts are rotated by us. Using Zain, many people are displaying the first signs of trauma. “Well, I attempt to confirm their feelings and give them relaxation advice,” Zain added. “I assure them that their emotions are natural as well as that while they are this way right now, it doesn’t mean they will be that way forever. Yes, PTSD will affect many people, but many will also recover.