The ramifications of economic sanctions on health service system : a comparative study of Sudan health service system before and after economic sanctions





Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus. Fakultet for samfunnsfag



Master in International Social Welfare and Health Policy


For thousands of years sanctions have been a tool of economic statecraft. It represents one of the major tools of international governance of the post-cold war era that are often blamed for human suffering. The severities of economic sanction imposed on Sudan have contributed to massive cuts in social services and have adversely affected the health infrastructure and health status in the country. The aim of this study is to assess the impacts of economic sanctions on health services system in Sudan and if economic sanctions are one of the obstacles for easy health services access. There were two research questions: (1) how did economic sanctions affects Sudan health service system? and (2) How do economic sanction affect future health planning and achieving 2015 millennium development goals (MDGs)? The methodological approach used for this study is qualitative deductive content analysis. Literature review was used to carry out a comparative analysis and systematic identification of selected studies and documents. Health service system performance such as availability, utilization, quality and quantity were assessed. The main focus of this study was emphasis on comparing Sudan health service system before economic sanctions 1990- 1997 and after economic sanctions 1997-2010. The comparative findings from Sudan that follow are for 1990, 2000 and 2010, although data from 2006 was used. Longitudinal comparisons of Sudan health service system, before and after the imposition of sanction shows that economic sanctions on Sudan have led to serious adverse impacts on the welfare of innocent people and affected the country’s economies and infrastructures due to the restrictions on access to the international market. These restrictions limited the exports and decreased potential income, which negatively affected the economic development of Sudan. The lack of capital has directly contributed to government financial cut allocated to the health sector. The functional capacity has degraded, creating limited access to health services, critical shortages of essential drugs and equipment and delayed the achievement of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.


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