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What is behind Hanan Balkhi’s visit to Sudan?

First Visit to Sudan After Appointment as Regional Director of the World Health Organization

Dr. Hanan Belkhei, the newly appointed Regional Director of the World Health Organization for the Eastern Mediterranean, made her first visit to Sudan accompanied by the Organization’s Emergency Health Director.

Inspection Visits

Upon her arrival, Dr. Belkhei accompanied by Sudan’s Acting Federal Minister of Health Dr. Haitham Mohamed Ibrahim and ministry officials, as well as the WHO Sudan office director Dr. Ahmed Zouiten, inspected several health facilities in Port Sudan. These included children’s hospitals, isolation centers, Suakin Hospital, the Model Meshiel Health Center, and the Prince Osman Digna Hospital. Additionally, they received a shipment of medical aid from the organization and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). They also held a joint meeting with the ministry and United Nations organizations, concluding the visit with a meeting with Transitional Sovereignty Council Vice Chairman Malik Agar.

During the reception of the Regional Director, the minister affirmed Sudan’s commitment to enhancing its partnership with the organization to achieve common health goals, emphasizing the importance of effective cooperation in strengthening healthcare efforts at various levels, especially in combating diseases and epidemics to preserve human health and community safety.

Receiving Support from JICA and the Organization

As part of the visit, Dr. Belkhei and Dr. Haitham, along with officials from the Red Sea State, received a shipment of medical aid from the organization and JICA. Dr. Belkhei praised the exceptional efforts made by the ministry in combating epidemics in the past period, highlighting it as a distinguished model regionally and internationally, ensuring the preservation of citizens’ health with a high level of professionalism, reflecting the success of the visions and directions pursued by the Sudanese Ministry of Health with efficiency and competence. She revealed that the grant provided amounted to more than 40 tons, expressing hope that the visit would achieve its intended goals, urging the ministry to deliver medical assistance to citizens and announcing continued support.

The General Director of the National Health Insurance Fund, Dr. Farouk Nouraldaim, emphasized the continuation of fruitful partnership with JICA and the Fund, noting the receipt of the grant within a 4-year health insurance capacity building project targeting three states, thanking JICA for providing medicines and ensuring their free distribution to patients in the targeted states.

Inspection of Health Facilities

On the second day of the visit, Dr. Belkhei, the minister, the governor, and others inspected Suakin General Hospital and the Model Meshiel Health Center, committed to addressing shortages and overcoming obstacles. Dr. Belkheir pledged support for the hospital and health center quality and accreditation project.

Later, the minister and Dr. Belkhei held a meeting with United Nations organizations and the World Health Organization, praising the efforts of regional and international organizations. They highlighted the challenges facing the healthcare system amidst the country’s current circumstances, with the organizations committed to prioritizing health through their systems and ensuring project sustainability to deliver safe services.

Meeting with Agar

The Regional Director concluded her visit to Sudan with a meeting with Transitional Sovereignty Council Vice Chairman Malik Agar, discussing the organization’s commitments to Sudan.

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