Start of activities
Most people living in the Mayo Camp, about 20 kilometres from Khartoum, are internally displaced people and refugees. They are victims of the wars that have been tearing apart Sudan and its neighbours for the past 20 years. However, it is no longer possible to call it a refugee camp, due to its de facto permanence: the majority of families now living there have been doing so for years. Within the camp, living conditions are still extremely unstable. A lack of running water; no sewage system, and poverty put a heavy strain on the health of children, who make up 50% of the camp’s inhabitants.
In 2005, we opened the Mayo Paediatric Centre. It remains the only free healthcare facility available to the local population and delivers essential medical services for children under the age of 14. The illnesses we commonly encounter are direct consequences of living conditions in the camp: gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections, malnutrition, and malaria. Easily remedied, these conditions can – if left untreated – lead to more serious problems. After assessing needs in Mayo, broadened the scope of our work at the clinic, introducing obstetric and gynaecological services in order to perform check-ups on pregnant and breastfeeding women.
To help as many children as possible, our doctors, nurses and health promoters organise health education outreach courses, screening sessions for malnutrition, monitoring for pregnant women, reproductive health services, and vaccination programmes throughout the camp. Our health promoters travel around the camp’s various neighbourhoods, providing information to mothers about essential hygiene practices and ensuring that our patients are following their prescribed courses of medication correctly. Once a week, doctors and nurses from the Mayo Paediatric Centre run screening services and provide vaccinations throughout the camp.