The challenges and our response
International Medical Corps has worked throughout Sudan’s Darfur Region since 2004, providing health, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene interventions.
Sudan, once the largest and one of the most geographically diverse states in Africa, split into two countries in July 2011, after the people of the south voted for independence.
Since that time, tribal conflict and inter-communal violence in Darfur continue to severely affect civilians, notably women and children, and prevent the return of displaced people to their areas of origin. Protracted conflict and insecurity has weakened the national health system and compromised people’s access to basic health services.
In many of the sites in which we operate, we are the only provider of primary health care or nutrition services, making us a key partner to the Ministry of Health in the health response in the region. This year, improved humanitarian access into conflict areas allowed our teams to reach the mountainous area of Jebel Marra to provide lifesaving nutrition and medical assistance for the first time.
Health Care: International Medical Corps currently operates in more than 45 health facilities across South, Central and West Darfur, delivering essential health services, health systems strengthening and support for the deployment of skilled health workers to those facilities. The clinics provide triage and medical consultations, manage injuries, provide vaccinations and provide health education. Their reproductive health services include antenatal care, clean and safe deliveries by skilled birth attendants and postnatal care and family planning. In 2016, our staff provided training to more than a thousand health facility staff and community health providers on topics ranging from basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care and management of common medical problems to disease surveillance and emergency response and community mobilization. Our teams also provided training on supply management, data management and service organisation.
Nutrition: International Medical Corps provides nutritional support to populations most vulnerable to hunger. Of the 45 health facilities where we operate, 35 have integrated nutrition activities, including infant and young child feeding practices. Our teams support more than 35 outpatient therapeutic program centres for the management of children with severe acute malnutrition. Children, pregnant and lactating women with moderate acute malnutrition are managed in supplementary feeding program centres. International Medical Corps, as the major non-governmental medical service provider, currently runs stabilisation centres to manage severely malnourished children who have life-threatening medical complications. We also support nutrition-specific interventions to prevent malnutrition including promotion of proper infant feeding practices and micronutrient supplementation.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): By expanding access to clean water, creating proper waste disposal systems and providing safe sanitation facilities, International Medical Corps restores healthy living conditions. Hygiene promotion is regularly conducted in targeted locations at both the health facility and community levels. In Central Darfur, International Medical Corps implements Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) activities, which mobilises communities to improve sanitation and hygiene by focusing on behaviour change.