Adré hospital supported by HI partner Médecins sans frontières France | © HI
400,000 people have crossed the border into Chad to escape the fighting in Sudan. Many gunshot casualties in need of medical, surgical and rehabilitation care.
HI is working at Adré hospital in partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières France (MSF-F) to help the people injured in the conflict in Sudan. Since July, HI has already provided care to some 150 people.
An HI team of three rehabilitation and physiotherapy experts (shortly to be increased to six) is working with MSF’s physiotherapist, helping around twenty patients a day. Many of them have undergone surgery performed by MSF; HI provides the rehabilitation care.
Most of the casualties are men with gunshot wounds in their lower limbs, but there are also many cases of head trauma.
Gunshot injuries often require resuscitation, surgery and sometimes amputation. They can cause excruciating pain, large wounds at risk of infection and functional limitations that can lead to permanent disability, especially without early rehabilitation.
Depending on the type of trauma (fracture, head injury, functional impotence linked to a wound, etc.), rehabilitation can sometimes take months or even years. It is a long convalescence, during which the patient has a temporary disability and is unfit for many everyday activities. HI intervenes at an early stage to optimise functional capacities, prevent complications, promote recovery and improve autonomy.
In the coming days, HI will be sending in a team to provide psychosocial support to victims of the conflict in Sudan.
”The needs are great and they will continue to grow. Fortunately, we started delivering rehabilitation care very early on. We can see the impact on patients. They are starting to walk and smile again. We want to rapidly make as many patients as autonomous as possible and show caregivers, usually parents, as many functional exercises as we can so that they can continue to help the people who need long-term care, especially those with neurological damage (hemiplegia, paraplegia, etc.).”
Natoyallah Djimingaye, known as Wilfreed, physical therapist at HI
The medical teams at Adré hospital work seven days a week. The hospital is overcrowded and patients are being sent back to the surrounding camps as soon as their condition allows to make room for new patients.
HI’s teams try to give as much information as possible to the caregivers, who are usually parents, and show them simple rehabilitation exercises to do with the patient once they have left the hospital.
Thanks to its partnership with the European Union and as part of the EHRC (European Humanitarian Response Capability*), Atlas Logistique, the HI's logistics division, has begun the rehabilitation of the Adré airstrip, with the final work due to be completed in October. This will facilitate the transport of humanitarian equipment and personnel, which is already possible thanks to the daily helicopter rotations on the airstrip operated by UNHAS.
Atlas Logistique has also provided international and local humanitarian organisations with a storage warehouse for humanitarian supplies.
"Every day, hundreds of people flee the war in Sudan to take refuge in Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world and unable to cope with the arrival of so many people in distress. These are people who have lost everything, who lack everything: shelter, water, food... Many of them are injured and in need of medical care and rehabilitation to prevent permanent disabilities from setting in. Unfortunately, this crisis is set to last, and today there are very few donors willing to support humanitarian operations to help these Sudanese refugees. This is a serious humanitarian crisis, but it’s invisible. In Adré, on Chad’s border with Sudan, HI is attempting to respond to the emergency. We are appealing to donor States to support the humanitarian response to a crisis that will amplify and endure".
Florence Daunis, HI director of international operations
Since mid-June, between 1,500 and 2,000 people have been fleeing Sudan every day to escape the fighting that broke out in April. They pass through Darfur and eventually arrive in Chad. Almost 400,000 people are now in Chad - half of them in Adré. 86% of them are women and children. Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world.
More than 2,500 wounded have already been identified. Adré district hospital, supported by Médecins Sans Frontières, has 200 beds and it is operating well over capacity.
The majority of patients are men, mainly with gunshot wounds, fractures and complex traumas. There are no rehabilitation or psychological support services other than those set up by HI.
The rainy season has begun, and violent winds are battering the makeshift refugee camps. A large number of refugees have no access to drinking water and there is an urgent need for food, hygiene, protection, shelter and healthcare.
* The European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC) is the European Union's new set of operational tools designed to fill the gaps in humanitarian response to sudden-onset natural and man-made disasters. HI/Atlas Logistique is one of the main operational partners of this new mechanism (April 2022).
This project is supported by funding from the European Humanitarian Response Capacity (EHRC) until February 2024, and from the Humanitarian Coalition (via Global Affairs Canada) until the end of December 2023.