Article Text

Download PDFPDF

In transition: current health challenges and priorities in Sudan
  1. Esmita Charani1,
  2. Aubrey J Cunnington2,
  3. AlaEldin H A Yousif3,
  4. Mohammed Seed Ahmed3,
  5. Ammar E M Ahmed3,
  6. Souad Babiker4,
  7. Shahinaz Badri5,
  8. Wouter Buytaert2,
  9. Michael A Crawford2,
  10. Mustafa I Elbashir3,
  11. Kamal Elhag4,
  12. Kamal E Elsiddig3,
  13. Nadey Hakim2,
  14. Mark R Johnson2,
  15. Alexander D Miras2,
  16. Mohamed O Swar4,
  17. Michael R Templeton2,
  18. Simon David Taylor-Robinson6
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan
  4. 4Department of Medicine, Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan
  5. 5Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan
  6. 6Department of Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital Campus, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Esmita Charani; e.charani{at}


A recent symposium and workshop in Khartoum, the capital of the Republic of Sudan, brought together broad expertise from three universities to address the current burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases facing the Sudanese healthcare system. These meetings identified common challenges that impact the burden of diseases in the country, most notably gaps in data and infrastructure which are essential to inform and deliver effective interventions. Non-communicable diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, renal disease and cancer are increasing dramatically, contributing to multimorbidity. At the same time, progress against communicable diseases has been slow, and the burden of chronic and endemic infections remains considerable, with parasitic diseases (such as malaria, leishmaniasis and schistosomiasis) causing substantial morbidity and mortality. Antimicrobial resistance has become a major threat throughout the healthcare system, with an emerging impact on maternal, neonatal and paediatric populations. Meanwhile, malnutrition, micronutrient deficiency and poor perinatal outcomes remain common and contribute to a lifelong burden of disease. These challenges echo the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals and concentrating on them in a unified strategy will be necessary to address the national burden of disease. At a time when the country is going through societal and political transition, we draw focus on the country and the need for resolution of its healthcare needs.

  • nutrition
  • maternal health
  • malaria
  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • hygiene
  • surgery

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Handling editor Seye Abimbola

  • Contributors EC, AJC and SDT-R wrote the first version of this article. All coauthors subsequently contributed to the revision of this manuscript. The manuscript was written from proceeds of a symposium and workshops that all authors contributed to.

  • Funding This study was funded by Economic and Social Research Council (ES/P008313/1).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval No ethical review or consent was required for publication.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data used in this article can be made referenced to external sources.