Since Saturday 15 April 2023, intense fighting has erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Khartoum and other parts of Sudan. The conflict has forced millions to shutter in their homes and hindered their access to healthcare. At the same time, the escalation of violence will further undermine the performance of health and will put medical health professionals in harm’s way. The recent news of some medical facilities, including a major medical center northeast of Khartoum and hospitals in North Darfur, being targeted, is of extreme concern.
The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) stands in solidarity with the civilians whose lives have been impacted by this conflict. We strongly condemn violence on health facilities, and affirm civilians’ right to health. We urge all parties to abide by international humanitarian law to ensure the protection of health personnel and facilities, and to spare the lives of people. SAMS echoes the statement from WHO and is extremely concerned about the doctors and nurses who are struggling to reach people in need of urgent care, and are lacking essential supplies including blood, transfusion equipment, intravenous fluids, and other life-saving commodities.
The hardships the people of Sudan are facing are all too familiar to the Syrian community. Syrians have also experienced the violation of their most basic rights and the trauma of war. The situation in Sudan brings echoes of the horrors witnessed by Aleppo, East Ghouta, and elsewhere in Syria. SAMS extends its deepest condolences and sincerest solidarity to those who are now experiencing this loss. “The continued attacks on medical facilities and doctors, whether in Sudan or elsewhere, are strongly condemned. We have seen similar suffering in Syria and Ukraine, and we pray for those affected to find peace and safety. ” said Dr. Amjad Rass, SAMS president.
We hope that this conflict will end soon, and in the meantime, we call for protection for civilians and civilian infrastructure to ensure that civilians have access to essential goods and services. The right to health is an inalienable right, and civilians and health workers alike must have assurances that health facilities will not be targets of violence. From Aleppo to Khartoum to Kyiv, we stand together in support of human dignity and peace.