Improving Access to Health Care in Sudan

Sudan is host to one of the largest refugee populations in Africa. At the end of 2017, an estimated 900,000 refugees from Yemen, Syria, Chad and other neighbouring countries came to Sudan to seek asylum. Sudan is also hosting the largest number of South Sudanese refugees in the region, with more than 840,000 seeking safety in the country.

Since November 2020, escalating conflict has forced more than 60,000 Ethiopians to flee their homes in the Tigray region—plunging the area into famine where at least 350,000 people are at risk of extreme hunger. Many have escaped to neighbouring countries like Sudan, with more than 20,000 refugees settling in Sudan’s Um Rakuba camp, where Mercy Corps runs the main health clinic.

Our team provides urgent medical care to the thousands of refugees at one health clinic in Um Rakuba camp. In addition to treating common illnesses like malaria and respiratory infections, the clinic must also coordinate care for patients experiencing COVID‑19 infections and other severe illnesses. However, there is limited stock of medical supplies and medication, including access to the COVID‑19 vaccine.

Kiros Alemu, 65, sits inside her tent with her husband Aynealem (centre), daughter Arsema (left) and grandson Dawit (right). She was a farmer from Humara, Ethiopia. When conflict broke out there, she and her neighbor fled on a long journey to Sudan. © Ala Kheir/Mercy Corps

By working with larger healthcare facilities in the nearby city, our team can help find proper care for patients in need. Mercy Corps is committed to working alongside communities already experiencing crises to find health care solutions to allow refugees to build a better tomorrow.