The Ministry of Health of Sudan urged to protect the laboratory against the risk of a biochemical accident

One of the two armed groups in Sudan seized the facilities of the National Public Health Laboratory, which triggered the WHO alerts regarding a possible biological disaster, since there are measles and cholera pathogens inside the laboratory. (Reuters)

The Sudanese Ministry of Health today urged the Army and the powerful Rapid Support Forces (FAR) paramilitary group to protect the area where the Stack reference laboratory is the center of Khartoum, since damage to the facility can cause “health problems.”

In a statement, the department indicated that it communicated with both sides that have been in conflict for eleven days to recall “the need to protect the central area where the Stack Public Health reference laboratory is located from attacks and incendiary projectiles so that the laboratory does not cause major health problems.

The Ministry made this warning after yesterday, Tuesday, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Sudan, Nima Saeed Abid, warned that there is a “high risk” of a chemical or biological accident in Sudan as a result of one of the sides in the conflict seizing a laboratory in Khartoum.

The technicians “cannot access the health center to control the situation,” said the WHO representative, without clarifying which side the laboratory took or its exact location.

Such a laboratory would contain samples of cholera, measles and other dangerous pathogens, he said.

FILE PHOTO: A column of smoke rises behind buildings during clashes between the Rapid Response Forces and the Sudanese army in North Khartoum, Sudan, April 22, 2023. REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
FILE PHOTO: A column of smoke rises behind some buildings during clashes between the Rapid Response Forces and the Sudanese army in North Khartoum, Sudan, on April 22, 2023. REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah (MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH/)

For his part, the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusexpressed concern about the possibility that “those who occupy the laboratory may accidentally become contaminated with pathogens stored there.”

In this context, the Sudanese Ministry of Health demanded that fighting be kept away from hospitals and that medical centers not be used for military purposes or to replenish supplies.

According to the WHO, 61 percent of Khartoum’s medical centers are closed, and only one in six is ​​operating normally.

The conflict that began on April 15 between the FAR and the Army has so far left 512 dead and more than 4,000 injured, according to the Sudanese Doctors Union, which warned that the number of fatalities continues to rise despite the entry A 72-hour truce came into effect, Monday midnight.

The hostilities have paralyzed the work of many hospitals and, according to humanitarian agencies, the violence is largely preventing the delivery of aid to civilians, many confined to their homes for days and suffering from shortages of drinking water, food and medical supplies. .

On Monday, the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkensaid the Sudanese generals agreed to a Stop the fire of three days, which began on Tuesday, after new frustrated attempts to pause the conflict.

Sudan army soldiers.
soldiers in sudan

“During this period, the United States urges the Rapid Response Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces to respect the ceasefire immediately and in its entirety,” it said in a brief statement published by the State Department.

Blinken specified that Washington “will coordinate with regional and international partners, as well as civil stakeholders to help create a committee” to oversee the “permanent cessation of hostilities” and “humanitarian assistance”.

The agreement was later confirmed by the RSF paramilitaries, which on their official Twitter profile stated their “full willingness to cooperate, coordinate and provide all the facilities that allow expatriates and diplomatic missions to leave the country safely.”

“We affirm our commitment during the declared armistice period and warn against continued violations by the second party (the Sudanese Army) in breaching (it),” it added in a statement.

(With information from EFE)

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