Two months after the expulsion from Darfur, Sudan

Following the expulsion of the Dutch and French sections from North Sudan in March 2009, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams continue to provide aid in five locations in the Darfur region.

In North Darfur MSF teams are working in Shangil Tobaya and Kaguro. In Shangil Tobaya, 65km south of El Fasher, MSF provides primary and secondary health care, including reproductive health services, treatment for victims of violence and a therapeutic feeding programme. In Kaguro, which is in rebel held territory of Jebel Si, MSF runs a dispensary and five health posts in the surrounding area. MSF teams in the dispensary provide outpatient and inpatient care, antenatal care, nutritional support and immunisation. In the health posts, outpatient and antenatal care are offered.

In West Darfur, in the town of Seleia, MSF runs a number of fixed health posts and mobile clinics which provide health care to thousands of people in the area. In Golo, which is located in the Jebel Marra, MSF teams are working in the town’s hospital, providing primary and secondary health care with both inpatient and outpatient care, obstetric care and nutritional care. In nearby Killin, which is in a rebel controlled area, MSF provides primary health care, including a small emergency room, in the town’s clinic, in addition to an outpatient nutritional programme.

Due to the expulsions MSF no longer has any activities in South Darfur. Several security incidents in Kebkabyia and the abduction of five MSF staff from Serif Umra in March 2009 meant that projects in these two locations in North Darfur were forced to close at the beginning of April. Activities in Tawila, also in North Darfur, have been suspended since December 2008, following a serious security incident.

Elsewhere in North Sudan MSF runs a project in Port Sudan, in Red Sea State (RSS), providing reproductive healthcare with a particular focus on pregnant women who have been circumcised. In RSS, an estimated 97.6% of women are circumcised, causing serious medical complications for many throughout their lives. During delivery, women have to be cut open, or ‘defibulated’, to enable the birth of the child. After a birth it is common practice to restitch, or ‘re-infibulate’, the woman. However, in Port Sudan the MSF project in Tagodom Hospital operates a "zero tolerance" approach to circumcision so does not re-infibulate any pregnant women following delivery. A key part of MSF’s work in Port Sudan is basic health education and awareness raising about the medical risks of circumcision through trained home visitors in the community, in addition to carrying out counselling and education at Tagodom Hospital.