Thank you for six years of relief measures in Sudan

by Ruth Bücker,  2011/03/04

A proverb says that if one door closes, another will open in its place. Somewhat nostalgically, but mostly pleased about the number of people we could help, humedica concluded its six-year mission in the Sudanese civil war province Darfur at the end of June 2010.

Six years of Charity in Action in South Darfur. Photo: humedica

humedica had been offering aid in the vast North East African state since 2004. Six years of relief measures that could be implemented thanks to the German Federal Foreign Office and in the framework of which lives could be saved and more than seven million euros were invested in efficient aid.

Six years of medical help that could be offered to hundred thousands of expelled and ill adults and children. Six years of relief measures which were concluded with the thoroughly prepared withdrawal of the humedica teams.

In 2004, humedica sent out a doctor team and by doing so started its commitment in the federal state of South Darfur in the wake of armed upheavals and the resulting flows of refugees. This honorary medical mission was the cornerstone for a humedica project that was expanded over the years and eventually became the largest project of all.

On the one hand we could spend days and use up hundreds of pages for explaining the contents and measures implemented, but on the other hand we are at a loss for appropriate words for describing the impressive extent of relief that could be offered.

Putting it in a nutshell, the humedica commitment included offering medical treatment and access to education, coordinating a refugee camp and - in particular during the first year of our commitment - distributing food and other relief goods.

humedica meant access to medical care

In Nyala, the capital of South Darfur, and its surroundings, humedica implemented basic health care projects at five refugee camps. Thanks to these hospital locations, a total of 200,000 persons were provided with access to medical care.

Both so-called expatriates (employees who immigrated to Sudan) and local doctors took care of more than one million of patients suffering from various complaints. Photo: humedica

During the past six years, humedica concluded the construction of another hospital in the city of Kass, which is located at about 80 kilometres from the project location. 135,000 people had access to this hospital and could therefore receive medical treatment. Thanks to the robust construction of the hospital, the institution will continue to be a centre for medical care also in future.

Besides treating common diseases, the services offered at the hospitals also included vaccination campaigns for adults and children, medical care during pregnancy and a 24/7 maternity hospital. These measures were implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the World Food Programme and UNICEF.

Also in cooperation with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health, we additionally organised numerous workshops which contributed substantially to increasing the skills of the local hospital staff.

Furthermore, thanks to using so-called mobile hospitals, access to basic medical care and vaccination campaigns was also provided to those persons who were not living at one of the refugee camps. Equipped with a laboratory, we could make quick tests, and in cases of emergency the patients could be taken to one of the out-patient hospitals, which were also run by humedica, as fast as possible.

We can only estimate the number of people whom we could help by means of in-patient treatment and mobile hospitals, but it amounts to about 1,150,000 patients. More than one million people who would have been neglected access to medical treatment if it had not been for the commitment of humedica.

humedica meant access to knowledge

Sitting on the floor, the little girls and boys were listening to the teachers' lectures. Photo: humedica

Besides offering medical care, what was particularly important to humedica during the past six years was to improve the education situation for girls and boys in Sudan. Together with the Sudanese Ministry of Education, which appointed the teachers, we pursued the objective of offering the children an environment which provided them with the best conditions for learning.

On the one hand this included to give both girls and boys an opportunity to take part in basic educational programmes. On the other hand, this also meant planning, building and equipping schools for giving the children a peaceful and suitable learning environment.

During the past years, we were able to build a total of 40 school buildings, or respectively to refurbish already existing rooms for this purpose. A total of 9,000 students were given the opportunity of receiving lessons in English, maths, Islamic law and theology, as well as in Arabic and scientific subjects.

In the days to come, you can read more about the past six years in Sudan.

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