Fifth Sudan health survey starts - North Darfur conditions to be assessed

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With five studies covering West and North Darfur, MSF is developing a comprehensive view of the conditions of the people they are treating.

MSF is starting its fifth health assessment in Darfur, Sudan as the emergency there continues to expand.

There are currently over 120 expats and over 2,000 national staff working in 17 different locations in all three Darfur states. More staff are working with the Sudanese refugees who have crossed the border into Chad. The health assessments are essential in developing an accurate description of the condition of the people being cared for as well as setting standards to measure the effectiveness of the work undertaken.

The new assessment will be undertaken in North Darfur near Kebkabyia. MSF recently opened a new project there and, to meet needs, flew in 66 tonnes of goods, including 14 tonnes of food - enough to feed 400 children for four months. 

This study should take approximately one month to complete and will assess the general health condition of the population along with retrospective mortality rates, family and gender composition, malnutrition levels and overall living conditions.

The study is being led by Evelyn Depoortere who recently completed surveys in Mornay and Zalingei.

With five studies covering West and North Darfur (Zalingei, Murnay, Niertiti, El Genina, and now Kebkabyia), MSF is developing a comprehensive view of the conditions of the people they are treating. The established methods also includes a continuing morbidity and mortality surveillance so staff can continually monitor conditions and identify both trends as well as individuals in need of care.

The Mornay and Zalingei studies were presented in June and areas are seeing population changes. In Zalingei there has been "quite some population movements" according to Evelyn Depoortere. "People are moving from inside the village to the camps just outside where it is they are easier to organize access to of food and water. And MSF is in favour of that." In addition there are reports of new people arriving as well.

In Mornay, there are also new people arriving but the population movement seems less than in Zalingei.

The fifth study should be completed in approximately one month. Meanwhile, MSF continues to increase staff and deliver more supplies to the area so they can continue to treat the vulnerable populations who have gathered there.