The role of non-governmental organizations in providing curative health services in North Darfur State, Sudan
Background: Conflict in North Darfur state, Western Sudan started in 2003, and the delivering of curative health services was becoming a greater challenge for the country’s limited resources. NGOs have played an important role in providing curative health services.
Objectives: To examine the role that Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have played in providing curative health services, as well as to identify the difficulties and challenges that affect NGOs in delivering curative health services.
Methods: Secondary data was collected from different sources, including government offices and medical organizations in Sudan and in North Darfur state. Primary data was obtained through interviews with government and NGOs representatives. The interviews were conducted with (1) expatriates working for international NGOs (N=15) (2) health professionals and administrators working in health sector (N= 45) in the period from November 2010 to January 2011.
Results: The government in North Darfur state spent 70% of its financial budget on security, while it spent it less than 1% on providing health services. The international NGOs have been providing 70% of curative health services to the State’s population by contributing 52.9% of the health budget and 1 390 health personnel. Since 2003 NGOs have provided technical assistance to the health staff. As a result, more than fifty nurses have been trained to provide care and treatment, more than twenty-three doctors have been trained in laboratory equipment operation, and approximately six senior doctors and hospital directors have received management training. NGOs have been managing and supporting 89 public health facilities, and established 24 health centres in IDP camps, and 20 health centres across all the districts in North Darfur state.
Conclusion: The NGOs have played an important role in providing curative health services and in establishing good health facilities, but a future problem is how the government will run these health facilities after a peaceful settlement has been reached which might cause NGOs to leave the region.
Keywords: NGOs, curative health services, provision, North Darfur state, Sudan
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