‘We’re expecting to get shot at any time,’ a doctor said of the Sudan violence.
A Sudanese doctor told the BBC that he and his colleagues are “expecting… to get shot [at] any time” while working in a Khartoum hospital.
The unnamed doctor has been volunteering to heal sick people, the most of whom have been shot.
He described himself as “helpless” and claimed it was “difficult” to see “people in front of you… dying.”
He claims that stray gunfire have hit both medical employees and patients.
He will not return to that hospital since it is unsafe, but will instead treat patients at another medical facility.
According to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD), 39 out of 59 hospitals in Khartoum and neighboring regions are “out of service,” emphasizing the country’s deteriorating humanitarian condition.
“Among the hospitals that have ceased operations are nine that were bombed and 16 that were subjected to forced evacuation,” according to the CCSD.
Fighting is now on its fifth day between the Sudanese army and the rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) group, amid a power struggle in the country.
The doctor verified to the BBC that the RSF had forcibly removed patients and physicians from at least 16 hospitals, however the BBC was unable to independently verify this account.
Patients are stranded in certain hospitals without clean water or food, and evacuation is difficult due to “lack of transportation, lack of safe passages, and lack of gasoline.”
He further said that other bodies had been left in hospitals that could not be reached.
A second physician, Dr Ahmed Abbas, a Sudan Doctors’ Union coordinator, told the BBC’s Newshour radio programme that the “situation is bad” and that just a few Khartoum hospitals were operational.
Those hospitals are suffering and “running low on oxygen” and life-saving drugs, while physicians have been working “around the clock” and are “exhausted to the point of collapse.”
Dr. Abbas also warned that “people are dying due to a lack of staff” and blood supplies, while others were dying due to a “long wait” to get to operating rooms, and that the health-care system was “beyond collapse.”
Both Dr. Abbas and an unnamed Khartoum doctor told the BBC that the factions have utilized hospitals as a safe haven for their fighters.
Dr. Abbas claimed that “crossfire fighting” had nearly completely destroyed five main Khartoum hospitals.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, spoke out on Tuesday, calling for quick action to assist civilians caught in the crossfire and to protect health workers.
“Healthcare facilities and workers must never be targets, especially in a situation like this, where thousands of civilians require emergency care,” Dr Tedros stated.
According to the UN, over 200 people have been reported deceased since conflict erupted on Saturday.
As a new wave of explosions exploded in the capital this morning, many Khartoum residents fled, while others were stranded in their homes seeking cover.