After three weeks in Khartoum, I have returned to the United States. I learned a lot about how the World Health Organization functions in Sudan, especially considering the current political turmoil and instability that so often grips regions within and bordering on the country.
One of the biggest issues facing public health workers in Sudan is a constant atmosphere of emergency. There are always urgent problems cropping up; in the past few years, these have included a cholera epidemic, internally displaced people and refugees, and a popular uprising, among others. These issues always require immediate attention and resources to prevent further death and/or suffering. Perpetual emergencies mean that public health workers have trouble devoting significant resources to building a good and long lasting health system.