Sudan: Obstruction of Aid Denies Women Lifesaving Health Care
We traveled to a remote region of Sudan where a humanitarian crisis is unfolding. Government and rebel groups have fought a bitter war in Sudan’s Nuba mountains for six years. Both sides have blocked efforts to deliver humanitarian relief to civilians. The government has bombed hospitals and other facilities used for humanitarian services. Here in the West and in the the East they don’t even get the most basic drugs like for malaria and antibiotics . Sometimes there are only deliveries once a year or every few months. Women and girls have little access to contraceptives or quality prenatal care. The administration here hasn’t provided any contraception to any of their clinics since the war began more than five years ago. There are only a very few clinics where you can get any kind of help at all. We only give vitamins and some painkillers to the pregnant. We don’t have anything else to give. Also, we do an examination for them but that’s it. During the first pregnancy, the baby died and I had surgery to remove it. 19-year-old Hassina’s pregnancies have endangered her health but she has no access to family planning services. For my second pregnancy, I had to have a C-section. Hassina’s second baby died before it was six months old. For the third delivery, the baby was coming out but died before the doctor could take it out. The warring parties must not deliberately block the impartial delivery of relief supplies to civilians in areas under their control. Intentional impediment could constitute a war crime or a crime against humanity.