epa000292627 A Sudanese boy walks through the impoverished Wad el Bashier camp for internally displaced persons on the outskirts of Khartoum, Sudan Sunday 10 October 2004. There are an estimated 4 million internally displaced persons (IDP) in Sudan, with almost half of those living in official camp and squatter areas in greater Khartoum. IDP's make up to 40% of Khartoum's total population. The displaced in Khartoum are mainly people who have fled conflict or drought in southern Sudan and Darfur since 1983. Peace talks to end the 21 year civil war in southern Sudan opened in Nairobi, Kenya last week. EPA/NIC BOTHMA

Charity warns of health catastrophe as ‘thousands of corpses’ decompose on Sudan streets

Cairo, Aug 8 (EFE).- A global charity Tuesday warned of an imminent health catastrophe unfolding in the Sudanese capital, where “thousands of corpses” are decaying on the streets due to morgues being overwhelmed by power outages.

“Prolonged power shortages have left the city’s morgues without refrigeration, leaving bodies to decompose in the heat, and causing the risk of major diseases outbreaks in the city,” Save the Children said in a statement.

“There are also no medical staff left at the morgues, leaving the bodies exposed and untreated,” the nonprofit said, citing Sudanese Doctors Syndicate.

According to the organization, the capital of conflict-ridden Sudan has been grappling with sporadic power and communication blackouts since conflict erupted in April, with recent weeks seeing an escalation of battles on the city streets.

The nonprofit said morgues were “at breaking point due to power outages and insufficient capacity to store the bodies, putting families and children at increasing risk of diseases.”

The charity raised concerns about the potential outbreak of cholera due to a “horrifying combination of rising numbers of corpses, severe water shortages, non-functioning hygiene and sanitation services, and lack of water treatment options.”

“The healthcare system in Sudan is hanging by a thread. As casualties increase, hospitals are closing, completely emptied of medicines and doctors, and looted of any remaining supplies,” said Save the Children’s health and nutrition expert Bashir Kamal Eldin Hamid.

According to the nonprofit, out of Sudan’s 89 major hospitals, 71 are non-operational.

Some healthcare facilities have been seized by armed groups, depriving millions of children and families of critical life-saving medical assistance.

Official figures indicate that the ongoing power struggle between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the national army has resulted in the loss of 1,100 lives since April 15.

However, other sources suggest that the fighting has led to approximately 3,000 fatalities.

The United Nations reports that nearly four million Sudanese citizens have been displaced, seeking refuge either within the country or across the borders in neighboring Chad and Egypt. EFE