In the news

Most Read

  • Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko to step down
    Telkom has announced that its CEO and executive director Sipho Maseko will step down on 30 June 2022. The telecoms company said the process to appoint a successor is well underway and a designated group CEO will be announced in the not too distant future.
  • How cooking oil brought a moment of joy during a dreadful week
    It is possible that cooking oil prevented more looting in South Africa in the last week than the president, the ANC, the intelligence community, the army and the police combined. This, without question, says something about the versatility of the product. It says even more about the state of the state. When you are shown up by canola, you might want to revisit your strategy. By Howard Feldman
  • Park Advertising launches digital performance unit, Lucid Media
    Performance Media across Search, Social and Programmatic platforms is the single fastest growing area of digital media in South Africa. Combine that with the detailed analysis of campaign management, tagging and ad operations, and it becomes apparent that these highly specialist functions require a highly specialised unit.
  • Transnet hit by cyberattack - Operations disrupted nationwide
    The Transnet Port Terminals website has been hacked, implying that all companies under Transnet have been affected. All Transnet websites were down at the time when reporting was done for this SA Trucker article. The publication cited sources who requested to remain anonymous because they are not allowed to speak to the media.
  • #BehindtheBrandManager: Meet Tamsin Darroch of Kellogg's South Africa
    Few food brands have the historical connection with consumers around the world as Kellogg's does, having held meaning at the breakfast table for over a century. By Lauren Hartzenberg
  • Business unusual for small enterprises on the road to recovery
    The Covid-19 pandemic has hit South Africa's small business sector hard and there are grim statistics to bear this out. Those statistics will not be repeated here. After all, if you are a small business owner setting out on the road to recovery, the last thing you probably want is more details of the toll the pandemic has taken on small enterprises. Far more useful would be some good, solid tips on how to build back better after any business setbacks. By Ameen Hassen
Show more
Advertise on Bizcommunity

Subscribe to industry newsletters

Sudanese search for oxygen cylinders as Covid third wave swells

Sudan is struggling to provide hospital beds, drugs and medical oxygen to Covid-19 patients hit by a third wave of infections that is straining the country's patchy healthcare system beyond what it can cope with.
With a population of over 40 million, Sudan has recorded 33,000 cases and over 2,600 deaths since the start of the pandemic, but officials say the real numbers are likely to be much higher given low rates of testing.

In recent weeks, an acute shortage of oxygen, partly due to power cuts that impeded production at the country's main plant, has left hospitals unable to provide adequate care to desperately ill Covid patients.

"My father passed away due to the lack of an intensive care bed with a ventilator," said Khartoum resident Sayda Mahmoud, 34, crying as she recounted his last moments.

"I saw him in front of me as he was dying, suffering and in pain from shortness of breath for hours until he took his last breath while waiting in a government hospital," she said.

Social media is awash with desperate pleas for help from relatives seeking beds, drugs and oxygen cylinders for their loved ones.

Officials say about 300 ventilators are available in the country, a number that is nowhere near what would be needed to respond to the current emergency.

A government study showed 38% of oxygen cylinders had been smuggled out of the health system for certain patients to use at home. Some patients bribed hospital staff for the cylinders, while others relied on personal relationships.

"At times of peak coronavirus infections, the crisis of the weak capacity of hospitals in providing beds for patients, providing oxygen cylinders and ventilators, becomes clear," said Montasir Othman, director of the Emergency and Epidemic Control Department at the Sudanese Ministry of Health.

Last month, officials said Sudan could meet just 40% of its need for medicines. The country has 37 hospitals that can take in Covid patients, but only 11 of them are in the capital Khartoum even though it has more than 70% of the cases.

Hussein Malasi, a senior manager at the Sudanese Liquid Gas Company, said that under normal circumstances the firm could produce enough medical oxygen to meet the country's needs, but the country lacks the cylinders needed to transport it.

Authorities say they are urgently facilitating imports of about 1,250 more cylinders to meet patient needs.

The shortage of oxygen and wider failings of the health system are a symptom of a deep malaise in Sudan, which has been stuck in an economic crisis for years.

Following the secession of the oil-producing South in 2011 and decades of international isolation due to U.S. sanctions, the country lacks the foreign reserves needed to procure medicines and other medical supplies abroad.

Authorities complain that only 160,000 have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, much less than 400,000 expected by the end of April, due to widespread scepticism and misinformation.


Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world's largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day.
Go to:

Let's do Biz