The European Union and Italy are working together to boost health services in Sudan. “Promoting Qualitative Health Services in Eastern Sudan”, a 12.9 million euro health programme funded by Brussels and run by Italy, opened recently. Designed to improve access to and the quality of services and treatment for the people of three states, Kassala, Gedaref and Red Sea, it is the first EU programme run by Italian Development Cooperation through our Embassy in Khartoum.
This new commitment comes after 5 years devoted by Italian Development Cooperation to improving the health system in East Sudan. Our help has taken the form of up-grading buildings, providing medical supplies and equipment, training health personnel and providing technical assistance for the Sudanese authorities.
Valuable Italian experience on the ground
Italy’s experience on the ground was viewed as a valuable input to the new programme. Its 5 main goals are to:
– train new medical staff in collaboration with the Academies of Medical Science;
– improve the capacity of the state health ministries and local health institutions;
– up-grade and build infrastructure for hospitals and other community health centres;
– increase the supply of medicines by improving the procurement process;
– develop an accident and emergency service.
In his presentation illustrating the project, Italian Ambassador Armando Barucco underscored the importance of the programme as evidence of the commitment of Europe and its peoples to the Sudanese people. “Italy feels a strong sense of responsibility, first to the people of Sudan, but also to the peoples of Europe who, through their donation, have made this initiative possible”.