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Mayo Paediatric Centre

 Over 250,000 Outpatients Consultations in 2019.


As of 2017, an estimated 2,200,000 people are internally displaced in Sudan (UNHCR). A total of 651,000 refugees have sought sanctuary in the country (IDMC), of which 65% are children (UNOCHA). Among these refugee children, 1 in 6 suffer from serious malnutrition (UNOCHA). EMERGENCY is working to provide medical support for the most vulnerable.


The people living in the Mayo Camp, about 20 kilometres from Khartoum, are refugees. They are victims of the wars that have been tearing apart Sudan and its neighbours for the past 20 years. Today, Mayo has around 400,000 inhabitants. 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. As of June 2019, the centre has seen a total of 249,084 outpatient consultations and has admitted 22,999 patients. 13,741 patients have been referred to public hospitals for further treatment. EMERGENCY covers the costs of laboratory examinations and specialist referrals for all patients. In 2017 alone, we saw around 50 children each day. Half of our patients were less than one year old.

Two years ago, we decided to broaden the scope of our work in Mayo, introducing obstetric and gynaecological services in order to perform check-ups on pregnant and breastfeeding women. In 2017, we saw an average of 35 obstetric and gynaecological visits per day. We also provide a postnatal service at home for women whose pregnancies we have monitored.


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. In 2017, our team provided 15,610 vaccinations for mothers and babies. As of June 2019, our health promoters have delivered a total of 54,306 outreach visits.

Our outreach work also extends to local schools, and in 2017 a total of 6,390 children took part in nutrition and health education classes within educational establishments. This work has been possible thanks to the collaboration of Mujaddidon, a Sudanese NGO.

The Mayo Paediatric Centre is co-funded by the European Union (Delegation to Sudan) and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.

Programme Data

Start of clinical activities: December 2005

Activities: Paediatrics, paediatric first aid.

Facilities: 2 clinics, observation ward, obstetric clinic, vaccination clinic, pharmacy, laboratory, technical and support services, welcome and health education area, outdoor play area.

Observation beds: 6

Local staff members: 48

Admissions: 23,590

Outpatient consultations: 256,627

Patients referred to public hospitals: 14,674

Outreach visits: 56,941

Newborns seen in the pre-natal ward: 3,514

Obstetric visits: 38,701

(Data correct as of December 2019)


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