MSF suspends surgery in Khartoum hospital as supplies remain blocked

On 18 October 2023, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) ​ announced the suspension of support to life-saving surgical activities at Bashair Teaching Hospital in south Khartoum, including trauma surgery and caesarean sections, after military authorities blocked the transport of surgical materials from Wad Madani to south Khartoum for over a month.

Bashair Teaching Hospital located in southern Khartoum, Sudan. Photographer: Ala Kheir. Date: 13/05/2023. Location: Sudan.
Bashair Teaching Hospital located in southern Khartoum, Sudan. Photographer: Ala Kheir. Date: 13/05/2023. Location: Sudan.

“It is devastating to have to stop supporting life-saving surgical care at Bashair Hospital. Since mid-May, the hospital’s emergency room has received nearly 5,000 patients and MSF’s surgical team has performed more than 3,000 surgical procedures. The needs are huge. Blocking the medication and materials needed to perform surgery deprives people of the healthcare they so desperately need,” said Shazeer Majeed, MSF surgical referent.MSF started working alongside Ministry of Health staff and volunteers in Bashair Teaching Hospital in mid-May. Since 8 September, military authorities have refused permission for MSF to bring new surgical supplies from our warehouses in Wad Madani to hospitals in south Khartoum. MSF’s surgical supplies in Bashair hospital have now run out, making it impossible to continue surgical activities.

“After weeks of discussions, on Sunday 1 October, we were informed that the military authorities in Wad Madani will no longer allow the transport of any surgical supplies, including for c-sections, to hospitals in south Khartoum. Despite repeated engagements with the health authorities since, these critical supplies remain blocked and stocks in the hospital are now depleted. We have no choice but to suspend our support to surgical activities at Bashair Teaching Hospital and temporarily withdraw our surgical team,” said Michiel Hofman, operations coordinator for Sudan. “We cannot ask our medical teams to stay when they can no longer provide life-saving care as they are medically obliged to do.”

MSF will continue to support maternal, emergency and outpatient care at Bashair hospital. For now, MSF continues to provide and support medical care at three other major hospitals in Khartoum and Omdurman, but some of these hospitals are also running out of supplies. Surgical supplies at the Turkish Hospital in south Khartoum, also affected by the blockage, are likely to run out within two weeks.

MSF continues to discuss with all authorities concerned to get these supply blockages removed. MSF is ready to resume its surgical activities when supply lines are restored.


MSF has worked in Sudan since 1979. We currently work in 10 states in Sudan, including Khartoum city and state, Al-Jazeera, White Nile, Blue Nile, River Nile, Al Gedaref, West Darfur, North Darfur, Central Darfur, South Darfur state.

MSF teams in Sudan are treating people injured in the fighting, including blast injuries and gunshot wounds, treating communicable and non-communicable diseases, providing maternal and paediatric care, running mobile clinics in IDP gathering locations, providing water and sanitation support, and supporting healthcare facilities through donations, incentives to Ministry of Health staff, and training and logistical support. MSF is also continuing some of the activities that were in place before the start of the conflict.

MSF Sudan´s emergency response operates with a budget of 76 million euros for 2023 and a team of 1,145 Sudanese staff and 57 international staff in Sudan. MSF is also paying incentives some 1,358 Ministry of Health staff.

Read more about our activities in Sudan

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Mologadi Matlala
Mologadi Matlala Media & Communications Intern, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Southern Africa

About Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is a global network of principled medical and other professionals who specialise in medical humanitarian work, driven by our common humanity and guided by medical ethics. We strive to bring emergency medical care to people caught in conflicts, crises, and disasters in more than 70 countries worldwide.

In South Africa, the organisation is recognised as one of the pioneers of providing Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) in the public sector and started the first HIV programmes in South Africa in 1999. Until today, the focus of MSF’s interventions in the country has primarily been on developing new testing and treatment strategies for HIV/AIDS and TB in Eshowe (Kwa-Zulu Natal) and Khayelitsha (Western Cape).

In Tshwane, we run a migration project, and we offer medical and psychosocial care to migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, who struggle to access public health services under South Africa’s increasingly restrictive.

Previously we offered free, high-quality, confidential medical care to survivors of SGBV in Rustenburg.

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