At least 459 people have been killed and 4,072 have been injured from weeks of armed conflict in Sudan’s capital Khartoum, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Tuesday, adding the figures are underestimated.
There are more than a hundred Filipinos in Sudan and about 50 have fled to Egypt by bus to escape the conflict.
Joining a United Nation press briefing by video, Dr. Nima Saeed Abid said, however, that the figures are probably “very much underestimated.”
Regarding attacks on the healthcare sector, Abid said the WHO has verified 14 attacks since the violence began, with eight deaths and two injuries. Hospitals have also suffered damage.
“Attacks on health care are reprehensible and must stop,” he said.
The central public health lab in Khartoum was being occupied by one of the fighting parties as a military base, Abid said.
“This was extremely dangerous as there were multiple samples in the lab including cholera; there was an extreme biological health risk associated with this occupation,” he said, and urged that the public health risk associated with the fighting should not be forgotten.
“There was a high risk of cholera and malaria, and there had been outbreaks of measles,” he said. “It was expected that a high number of people would die from these outbreaks.”
He said there was a “high risk” of taking care of all biological matter in Khartoum because of one of the fighting parties occupying the lab and expelling the technicians.
The priority for international actors should be keeping pressure on the parties to reach a cessation of hostiles, he urged.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE