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Cablegate: Darfur - Press Coverage and Health in Zam Zam

VZCZCXRO9726
PP RUEHMA RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #1480/01 1760859
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 250859Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3384
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 001480

SIPDIS

AIDAC
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/SPG, PRM, AND ALSO PASS USAID/W
USAID FOR DCHA SUDAN TEAM, AFR/SP
NAIROBI FOR USAID/DCHA/OFDA, USAID/REDSO, AND FAS
USMISSION UN ROME
GENEVA FOR NKYLOH
NAIROBI FOR SFO
NSC FOR JBRAUSE, NSC/AFRICA FOR TSHORTLEY
USUN FOR TMALY
BRUSSELS FOR PLERNER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF PGOV PHUM SOCI SU
SUBJECT: Darfur - Press Coverage and Health in Zam Zam


-------------------
Summary and Comment
-------------------

1. Recent media attention on gaps in the provision of
health services in Zam Zam internally displaced persons
(IDP) camp in North Darfur prompted USAID's Darfur Field
Office (DFO) to verify the reports. Zam Zam camp had
been adequately served by three non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) providing health services until mid-
May 2006 when one NGO left the area. Contrary to press
reports, however, health services in Zam Zam continue,
and no outbreaks or major health problems have emerged.
In addition, the State Ministry of Health (SMOH) and the
UN World Health Organization (WHO) are working in
coordination with health providers in North Darfur toward
devising a long-term solution to address the needs of Zam
Zam's population. At this time, the DFO recommends
supporting one international NGO to guide and build
capacity within the two existing national NGOs present in
Zam Zam. End summary and comment.

------------------------------
Building National NGO Capacity
------------------------------

2. In general, the provision of health services in North
Darfur is hampered by insecurity, decaying or non-
existent facilities, a lack of supplies and reliable cold
chain, an insufficient number of qualified national staff
wanting to serve in Darfur, and a high staff turnover
rate.

3. Zam Zam IDP camp, located 16 kilometers south of El
Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, is a mixed community
of approximately 32,000 IDPs and host community
residents. The Spanish Red Cross (SpRC) serves as camp
coordinator, and several UN agencies and NGOs provide
basic services. The camp is well organized, and despite
continuing insecurity, NGOs implement a variety of
programs ranging from health and water and sanitation
projects to livelihood activities and distribution of
relief supplies.

4. Until May 2006, Medecins sans Frontieres-Spain (MSF-
Sp) operated a primary health care clinic in Zam Zam
camp. When a survey concluded that conditions in the
camp no longer met emergency criteria, MSF-Sp moved
operations south to an underserved area. Prior to its
departure, MSF-Sp liaised with the WHO and SMOH to ensure
the continuation of basic medical services at Zam Zam.

5. Currently, two clinics run by national NGOs are
operational in Zam Zam camp. The Sudanese Red Crescent
Society (SRCS) clinic in Zam Zam can see and treat 250 to
300 patients per day. The Sudanese Development
Organization (SUDO) clinic can see between 200 and 250
patients per day. According to the June 14 SMOH weekly
morbidity and mortality statistical report, 1,162
patients in Zam Zam camp were treated during the previous
week. These figures illustrate that the SRCS and SUDO
clinics are operating under maximum daily capacity.

6. On June 7, WHO reported that the health situation in
Zam Zam camp is stable. In addition, SRCS is providing
vaccination services in the camp, and SUDO is expanding
its staff presence in Zam Zam by one medical doctor to be
supported by Medecins du Monde-Greece (MDM-G). Likewise,
efforts are ongoing to build capacity of SRCS and SUDO to
provide nutrition services in Zam Zam, such as the three-
day workshop on supplementary feeding and nutritional
surveillance conducted by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF)
and SMOH in late May.

------------------------------
Using the Press to Raise Funds
------------------------------

7. SCRS assumed operations in Zam Zam from the Saudi Red
Crescent (SRC) in December 2005. SRC provided physical
assets and three months of funding to SRCS. SCRS managed
to secure additional funding to continue until June 30,

KHARTOUM 00001480 002 OF 002


the date reported in recent press coverage. The SRCS
Health Coordinator stated that the organization contacted
the media in an attempt to raise funds for the clinic.
SRCS also noted that the organization will stay in Zam
Zam beyond June 30, but does need to secure long-term
funding. While one article focused on the absence of an
ambulance in Zam Zam, SRCS reported that making an
ambulance available would be in vain due to insecurity
and the threat of hijacking.

--------------
Recommendation
--------------

8. Additional donor support to an international NGO to
further build capacity of SRCS and SUDO would help to
ensure the continued stability of the health situation in
Zam Zam. MDM-G is supporting SRCS with personnel and has
already diverted one mobile clinic to Zam Zam. MDM-G is
also providing transportation for critical patients to El
Fasher Hospital. In addition, USAID partner Relief
International has expressed interest in expanding into
Zam Zam. The DFO will continue to monitor the situation
and liaise with these organizations regarding next steps.

HUME

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