The ongoing conflict in Sudan has led to people fleeing their homes resulting in a significant increase in internally displaced people (IDPs), particularly in states such as Blue Nile where it is considered safe. According to a survey done by the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and the State Ministry of Health (SMOH), Damazine locality in Blue Nile State has one of the highest numbers of IDPs in Sudan.
Responding to the urgent humanitarian needs arising from this crisis, World Vision has established mobile clinics in Blue Nile, providing essential and free health and nutrition services to host communities and IDPs. In partnership with the SMOH and HAC, this project aims to ease the access difficulties faced by displaced families and vulnerable host communities.
Hawa Musa, a mother of three children, was forced to flee Khartoum in May. She, like the majority of IDPs, struggled to find shelter, had little financial resources to feed her children, and had trouble accessing health care.
“Since we arrived in Damazine, Kaltoum has been suffering from recurrent diarrhoea and she has lost weight,” says Hawa. “I have also noticed that I produce less milk,” she added.
She did not know how she could access medical care for her eight-month-old daughter, Kaltoum, who was at risk of severe dehydration. Fortunately, she learnt from her neighbours about the mobile clinic set up by World Vision close to her home and her baby received medical attention.
The nutrition staff at the clinic assessed Kaltoum as part of the clinic's usual integrated services by measuring her Upper Mid-Arm Circumference (MUAC). Her MUAC reading was 9.9 centimetres, indicating that the baby had severe acute malnutrition. Kaltoum also had medical issues that required her to be referred to a stabilisation centre.
World Vision team facilitated Hawa and Kaltoum’s transfer and admission at Damazine Hospital where she is still receiving treatment. The nutrition team has also linked Hawa with the nurturing care support group for ongoing assistance closer to her area.
Another mother, Solafa, expressed her worries over her children's medical care. "I am unable to pay for medical care. I tried traditional remedies for my daughter's health, but nothing changed," says Solafa.
She sought aid for her daughter Reham, who had tonsillitis, after learning about World Vision's mobile clinic. The clinic provided essential medications.
According to Mahadi Mohammed, a community leader from Hai al Thura, who coordinates with the mobile team to make sure that the work of the clinic is going smoothly, Hai al Thura is hosting 160 households displaced from Khartoum.
“We work with the mobile team to make sure that IDPs are looked after appropriately side by side with the members of the host community,” says Mahadi.
The mobile clinics offer a comprehensive health and nutrition package. These include medical consultation, reproductive health services (antenatal, postnatal, and clean birth kits), laboratory tests, as well as the distribution of mosquito nets and free medicine. For nutrition, the clinics are involved in active case finding of malnourished children under the age of five, pregnant and lactating women and girls. Additionally, the women and girls receive nutritional training on infant and young child feeding practices.
World Vision has been operating 14 mobile clinic sites in Blue Nile each week since the conflict began. Key highlights include:
- 2,341 pregnant women received antenatal care services, with 589 receiving postnatal care.
- 6,345 children under the age of five received outpatient clinical care at a mobile clinic.
- 278 children under the age of five have been identified as malnourished and enrolled in nutrition care. Those who require inpatient care are referred and assisted to a referral site such as Damazine Hospital.
- 239 pregnant and lactating women and girls have been identified as malnourished and enrolled in curative and preventive care.
World Vision Sudan is committed to continuing to provide accessible and high-quality healthcare through the operation of mobile clinics, ensuring that vulnerable people receive the care they require during Sudan's crisis.