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Hand-washing facilities built in Khartoum to help curb coronarivus in homeless population

Hand washing facilities are being built to curb the spread of Coronavirus [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 April, 2020

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Twenty hand-washing facilities have been built in Sudan's capital to help homeless population with Covid-19 pandemic.




Twenty portable handwashing facilities have been accessible for homeless people in seven places in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, as part of an emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

This comes as two people have died due to Covid-19 and 14 cases of the virus have been confirmed.

The initiative developed in close coordination with Sudan’s Khartoum State Ministries of Social Development and of Health.

It was a response to the community’s urgent needs for safe drinking water and sanitation.

“We stand today with the Sudanese people and government to effectively respond to this public health threat, and to improve access to essential hygiene and clean water,” said Catherine Northing, Chief of Mission, IOM Sudan.

Five of the handwashing facilities were placed in quarantine centres, where 169 migrants returning from the Libyan border are being quarantined.

“Our priority is to protect and support children and youth on the street,” said Ishraga Algaili, Director of Social Welfare, Khartoum State Ministry of Social Development.

“Awareness sessions are being conducted throughout different locations in Khartoum State to widen the reach to vulnerable groups. More awareness among these groups is needed.”


The initiative seeks to raise Covid-19 awareness in particular amongst homeless children and youth in the city, as well as those who come from insecure families and those who live in settlements and camps – both of which have a heightened risk during the pandemic.

“I learned how to protect myself and wash my hands,” said Yousif, a young man who participated in the awareness sessions in Ombada, Omdurman. "I will make sure to teach others.”

“Our response needs to make sure that no one is left behind. We are working closely with our governmental and community partners to identify the most acutely vulnerable groups and will target our immediate response for their benefit,” said Northing.

Last month Sudan’s Health Ministry reported the country’s first coronavirus death.

The ministry identified the case of a “50-year-old man who lived in the capital Khartoum and died [at the end of March].”

He had visited the United Arab Emirates, which had 74 reported cases at the time the man had travelled there.

The UAE, where 1,505 coronavirus cases and 10 deaths have been reported, has introduced strict measures including halting travel and closing shopping malls and entertainment venues.

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