WMA Council Resolution for an immediate and effective ceasefire in Sudan and the protection of health care
Adopted by the 223rd WMA Council, Nairobi, Kenya, April 2023
Violent fighting has broken out since Saturday 15 April in Khartoum and in several cities of Sudan between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF), an independent paramilitary force.
Since the outbreak of the conflict, water, electricity and medicine have been in short supply in the capital and the humanitarian situation is deteriorating by the day. Hospitals are closing due to a lack of equipment and staff who are prevented from going to work. Medicines, oxygen bottles and blood bags are running out. Five facilities have been evacuated after being riddled with bullets and partially destroyed by rockets. Media reports increasing numbers of civilians killed in the fighting.
The Council of the WMA meeting in Nairobi on 20-23 April, condemns in the strongest terms the outbreak of fighting in the country, which has a devastating impact on the healthcare system, and warns that hospitals and healthcare facilities must never become targets in a conflict.
The WMA Council supports the call for an ‘immediate’ and effective ceasefire in Sudan by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday 17 April, urging “all those with influence over the deteriorating situation to press for peace, and support efforts to end the violence [and] restore order, and calls upon all parties to the conflict to:
- Respect the ethical principles of health care, including medical neutrality, to guarantee the safety of patients and health personnel, and take immediate steps to ensure that they are not targeted or affected by the fighting, including the provision of safe passage of health care workers and patients where evacuation is required;
- Ensure that hospitals and healthcare facilities have adequate supplies and staffing to provide care to those in need and facilitate humanitarian aid.