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Sudan Doctors' Syndicate

Sudan Doctors' Syndicate logo[1][2]

The Sudan Doctors' Syndicate (SDS) (Arabic: نقابة أطباء السودان),[3][4] also sometimes referred to as the Sudan Doctors' Trade Union[5][6] or Sudanese Doctors Association, is a professional association of Sudanese doctors. It has been actively involved in addressing the challenges faced by the healthcare sector in Sudan.[7][8][9] The SDS documents the fatalities and injuries during the Sudanese conflicts,[4][10] and their members have been subjected to shootings,[11] torture,[12] and abductions[13] by the government and armed forces in Sudan.[14]


It is probable that the SDS became a recognised union following the revolution in October 1964 and the reestablishment of the Sudan Trade Union Law in 1966.[15][16]

The SDS has called for international support due to the collapse of the public health sector and the lack of public services provision in public facilities.[7] The SDS has highlighted that doctors have borne the brunt of a collapsed health system and have gone into several general strikes demanding improvement of the health system and doctors’ working conditions in Sudan.[7] The SDS has also been involved in providing medical and financial aid to wounded protesters during periods of civil unrest.[7] However, this has led to some members of the SDS being detained.[7][8] During the Sudanese revolution of 2019, the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD) was one of the trade unions that formed the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) which had a prominent role in the protests.[17]

In the midst of the 2023 conflict in Sudan, influential social media users who were in favor of the Sudanese Armed Forces launched an assault on the Sudanese Doctors Syndicate. They wrongfully alleged that the SDS was biased towards the Rapid Support Forces and the Janjaweed. These unfounded claims posed a threat to both the standing and security of the healthcare workers.[18] Despite these challenges, the SDS continues to advocate for improvements in the healthcare sector and the working conditions of doctors in Sudan.[7][8]

The SDS established global branches to support Sudanese doctors living abroad. These include a branch in the United Kingdom set up in the mid-1970s,[19] one in the USA,[20] another in Ireland founded in 2010,[21] and a Canadian branch that was established on 24 February 2019.[22] The SDS in Qatar, which opened a helpline within two days of the start of the war in Sudan (2023), is staffed by 136 doctors from more than 36 specialties.[23]


  1. ^ "Sudan's Doctors Syndicate: Number of Civilian Casualties Rises to 264". Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  2. ^ "Sudanese doctors' union sends "unlimited solidarity" to NHS strikes". MENA Solidarity Network. 2023-01-17. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  3. ^ "Sudan Doctor's Syndicate". Arab News. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  4. ^ a b "Sudan doctors syndicate says 25 dead in tribal fighting, as truce talks stall". AP News. 2023-05-10. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  5. ^ Khidir, Hazar; Khidir, Hana; Owda, Dalia (2023-05-24). "Sudanese doctors should not have to risk their own lives to save lives". NPR.
  6. ^ Staff, The New Arab (2023-07-19). "Juba university welcomes medical students fleeing Sudan". New Arab. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Dabanga (2019-01-13). "Sudanese Doctors Syndicate calls for international support". Dabanga Radio TV Online. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  8. ^ a b c Salih, Zeinab Mohammed (2023-05-08). "Sudan medical volunteers detained after being seized from ambulance". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  9. ^ Pietromarchi, Virginia. "'An imminent catastrophe': Healthcare disaster looms in Darfur". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  10. ^ Osimen, Goddy Uwa; Moyosoluwa, Dele-Dada (2023-08-10). "The Sudan Armed Conflict And Geneva Convention On Laws Of War". Journal of Namibian Studies: History Politics Culture. 35: 265–286. doi:10.59670/jns.v35i.3451 (inactive 31 January 2024). ISSN 2197-5523.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of January 2024 (link)
  11. ^ "'Why Sudan is shooting medics'". BBC News. 2019-01-18. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  12. ^ MD, Steven H. Miles (2020-03-02). The Torture Doctors: Human Rights Crimes and the Road to Justice. Georgetown University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-1-62616-752-0.
  13. ^ Nashed, Mat. "Sudanese doctor 'abducted' after smear campaigns, say family". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  14. ^ Greenslade, Roy (2013-10-07). "Sudan newspapers refuse to publish after copies are confiscated". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  15. ^ النقابات العربية: ورشة عمل (in Arabic). مركز ابن خلدون بالإشتراك مع دار الامين للنشر والتوزيع،. 1996. p. 284. ISBN 978-977-279-081-4.
  16. ^ "Obituary: Abdel Halim Mohammed Abdel Halim" (PDF). 2009.
  17. ^ Abbas, Reem (2019-01-28). "How an illegal Sudanese union became the biggest threat to Omar Al Bashir's 29-year reign". The National. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  18. ^ "Sudan's Doctors Falsely Accused of Siding with the Rapid Support Forces – Social Media Monitoring, July 2023 – Sudan". 2023-07-05. Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  19. ^ "Sudan Doctors Union – UK Branch – الهيئة النقابية للأطباء السودانيين بالمملكة المتحدة". Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  20. ^ Hub, Sudan Crisis. "SUDAN CRISIS Program". SUDAN CRISIS Program. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  21. ^ "sdui". Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  22. ^ "Home". SDU-Canada. Retrieved 2023-11-19.
  23. ^ Strzyżyńska, Weronika (2023-05-10). "Sudan's doctors turn to social media as health infrastructure crumbles". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-11-19.

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Sudan Doctors' Syndicate
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