Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta

Sudan: emergency expert describes the situation in Darfur

30/12/2004

‘During the last four months the security situation in the crisis area has become even worse,’ says Birke Herzbruch, emergency coordinator of the Order of Malta German Emergency Corps, recently returned to Germany from Darfur. ‘Attacks on refugees, looting and banditry, clashes between the Sudanese Liberation Army and militia/government are causing death and injury, and among the civilian population too.’

The relief programmes are running under very tight security. ‘In the rural areas in the south of El Fasher, the Order of Malta is supporting primary health care facilities and maternity wards. We reach about 45,000 persons in urgent need. And the supply of medicines and consumables is even more important now as the cold season has started.’

As more than 99 % of the Sudanese women and girls are circumcised, care during and after pregnancy is a special challenge. ‘We are training the midwives and traditional birth attendants; and we provide basic drugs and equipment to support mother and child health,’ Herzbruch explains.

In North Darfur, the Order of Malta will continue to support and strengthen local health structures. Provision of essential drugs and medical equipment, as well as training measures for health professionals, are implemented and conducted in cooperation with UNICEF/UNFPA.

To finance the structure for the relief measures, the Emergency Corps of the Order of Malta has received 250,000 EUR from the Govern of the Order of Malta. Other donations where provided by the Grand Priory of Austria, the British Association, the Irish Association and the Italian Association of the Order. The mission is also financed by the German Government and private donations.