What you need to know:
- Some 219,000 pregnant women, including 24,000 expected to give birth in Sudan in the coming weeks, are in grave danger, the United Nations Population Fund has warned.
- Sudan’s fighting began on April 15 between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan's forces and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo's Rapid Support Forces.
Some 219,000 pregnant women, including 24,000 expected to give birth in Sudan in the coming weeks, are in grave danger, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has warned.
The international aid agency, in a statement, reported that the conflict has made it extremely difficult for women to seek essential antenatal care, safe delivery services, or postnatal care.
“The heavy fighting which continues in Sudan’s capital Khartoum and across the country is putting tens of thousands of pregnant women in danger, making it too perilous to venture outside their homes to seek urgent care in hospitals and clinics.
“If the violence does not stop, there is a danger that the health system will collapse and pregnant women and their unborn children will die,” the statement read
Sudan’s fighting began on April 15 between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan's forces and his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo's Rapid Support Forces (RSF) over a dispute on the planned integration of the RSF into the regular army.
The World Health Organization reported that so far, more than 400 people have died and 3,700 injured as a result of the conflict.
UNFPA also reported that not less than 20 hospitals have been forced to shut down in Khartoum, with 12 others, which are still operational across the country, being on the verge of closure due to power and water cuts and lack of staff.
“Doctors, nurses and hospital staff are unable to travel to work and vital humanitarian aid is not getting through because of roadblocks and ongoing fighting," it said.
“We are also extremely concerned about the safety of our staff in Khartoum and other affected areas, who are trapped inside their houses and are beginning to run out of water, food and critical medicines.”
The body further raised concerns about the 3.1 million women and girls who are at risk of increased life-threatening gender-based violence as protection services have been disrupted by the clashes.
UNFPA and UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the warring parties to respect the humanitarian pause to allow people to access food, water, medicine and the healthcare that they desperately need.