Until 2011, Sudan was the largest state in Africa, with a mixed population of Arab Muslims, Christians and Animists. Following a referendum, the people of South Sudan voted for independence, splitting Sudan into two countries. Sudan has been afflicted by conflict for the majority of the latter half of the twentieth century, causing millions of deaths, casualties, and refugees. In Darfur, western Sudan, the United Nations has claimed there is evidence of ethnic cleansing.
The Mayo refugee camp, on the outskirts of the capital, Khartoum, was opened twenty years ago for refugees of the war between Sudan and South Sudan. Over the years, with the arrival of refugees from Darfur, the camp has expanded and is now home to 400,000 people who live in conditions of basic survival. The only health facility providing free treatment for the population is EMERGENCY’s paediatric centre, opened in December 2005 in the Angola area.
Every day, around a hundred mothers and children come to the Centre: the EMERGENCY staff perform a triage to understand which patients need to be examined first. Children in a critical condition are hospitalised for daily observation in a 6-bed ward. The most serious are transferred by ambulance to public hospitals, where we continue to monitor their conditions until they are discharged.