Humanitarian Health Action

Sudan: preparations for the January 2011 referendum

Monthly Highlights - October 2010

WHO/Godwin Orekh

In Sudan, Health Cluster partners are planning to preposition medicines in the border areas between northern and southern Sudan ahead of the scheduled 9 January 2011 referendum. The preparations, which are part of an overall contingency plan, are required to ensure that health facilities stay operational even if supply routes were interrupted by conflict and violence.

It is essential to maintain access to basic and secondary health care whether for the care of violence-and displacement related health problems or for the uninterrupted treatment of endemic communicable diseases, such as the visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar) outbreak currently affecting areas of Southern Sudan.

Within this context, the Health Cluster in northern Sudan has prepared a plan to preposition drugs and supplies in priority areas of the country, including:

  • The entire area of Abyei – with its estimated population of 80 000-100 000 people – as it is expected to be the most affected area by the referendum;
  • Keilak, Buram, Mujlad and Abujebiha in South Kordofan;
  • Eldein and Baharul Arab in South Darfur.

The prepositioning includes supplies for reproductive health, malaria, diarrhoeal diseases, meningitis, hemorrhagic fever, water quality control and many common ailments for an estimated caseload of 3.2 million people, including 480 000 children under five and 130 000 pregnant women.

The prepositioning should start mid-November and be finalized before the end of 2010. US$5 million funding is needed to cover the costs of Health Cluster partners for this operation.

The graph below shows the funds received for WHO’s emergency activities in Sudan between 12 January and 20 October 2010 (through WHO headquarters). As of October, 48% of the requirements for the health sector were covered.

For more information on WHO’s activities in Sudan