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Sudan: Sudan Health Profile



Sudan is a low-gain country with a GDP per capita of US $700. Bolstered by higher oil production, good harvest and a continuing boom in construction and services, the economy has recently grown at a faster pace with estimates of 11% increase in 2006. But, this increase has been unevenly distributed and is geographically concentrated in central states around Khartoum. In general, health indicators in Sudan are poor, but in North Sudan, these are better than most Sub- Saharan African nations.

There are huge urban-rural and regional disparities. Southern states and some states of North Sudan are additional deprived and underserved. Significant health and health care indicators and indicate little development in the MDG indicators over the 1990s. This slow evolution requires the scaling up of interventions and significant efforts to get on track to achieve the MDGs by 2015. In addition, there is a high burden of infectious diseases in the country and epidemics of infectious disease are common. The CPA has acted as a tool to build peace and bring development in conflict-affected and natural disaster-prone Sudan, and has formed the basis for an interim constitution of Sudan established in 2005. This constitution gives appropriate emphasis to health and requires government to promote public health and guarantee equal access and free primary health care to all people of Sudan.

Further, it reiterates and affirms Sudan as a federation with a decentralized system of governance. Following these principles laid down in the constitution, GONU and GOSS developed health polices, expressing commitment to equitable, sector-wide, accelerated and expanded quality health care for all, particularly for underserved, disadvantaged and vulnerable, like women and children in order that they are able to lead socially and economically productive lives. An extra development consequent to the signing of CPA was the launching of Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) co-led by the Government of Sudan and SPLM/A, along with UN agencies and the World Bank and the subsequent establishment of a multi-donor trust fund (MDTF). Under this fund, a decentralized health system improvment(DHSD) project, both for North and South has been initiated.

Likewise, in July 2006, a Darfur Joint Assessment Mission (D-JAM) was launched in an effort to address the majority urgent needs of people, but its implementation awaits the full deployment of UN-African Mission peacekeeping force which begun in January 2008. In addition, the Government is as well increasing investment in and resource allocation for the health sector.

There are challenges that risk the chances of health system recovery and improving the delivery of health services.
• The excessive burden of communicable diseases, e.g. malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis, vaccine-preventable diseases, and neglected tropical diseases in the South and the emerging problems of non-communicable disease and of HIV/AIDS. Further areas of concern are high maternal and child mortality inclunding widespread malnutrition.
• The country is prone to natural disasters such as floods and droughts. While these disrupt infrastructure, inclunding that of the health system, they as well cause illness and bring suffering through displacement, loss of shelter, food and gain, thus posing a better request on the by presently weak and disrupted health system.
• Given that the major focus has so far been on humanitarian action, recovery and development of the
health system has been so far overlooked with an overemphasis on clinical care. In the presence of such
biases, there exists competition for resource allocation between different components of the health systems.
• Protracted conflicts and continuing underdevelopment has contributed the exodus of skilled manpower. The disruption to health infrastructure has particularly led to a “brain drain” and vicious circle of mal-distribution of human resources and poorly maintained health infrastructure.

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