The emergency room at Bashair Hospital is usually busy, and some cases require the surgeons to come from the operating theatre to assess the cases. Sudan, 2023. © MSF © MSF

Sudan: 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,” said MSF Emergency Coordinator, Raphael Veicht.

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

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

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,” said Will Harper, MSF Country Director 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.