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More than one million people each year worldwide lose their lives, and even many more suffer non-fatal injuries as a consequence of violence [1].

In Sudan a total of three Family and Child Protection Units (FCPU) have been established, one in each of the three large localities of Khartoum State. They frequently receive cases of child abuse. Nevertheless it is assumed that many more cases never reach the units.

Studies regarding matters on child abuse in Sudan are deficient, but according to a study done in Europe it is estimated that 2% to 10% of children visiting the Emergency Department are victims of child abuse and neglect. The Emergency Department is the main gate or entry of crisis-based health care visits, thus it is believed to be the first encounter with a health care service for the abused child and therefore the main opportunity for abused children to be identified and managed [2].


We have conducted a study serving to investigate the reasons behind this gap using probability sampling methods where data was collected from a number of 137 medical personnel working in three different main public hospitals in Khartoum State, Sudan. We have found that most of the results obtained from the study were consistent with most of the similar studies found in literature. Most of the participants admitted that there is a serious issue of child abuse in the community but they fail to report cases when identified due to the lack of a clear protocol for dealing with the cases of child abuse.

In order for medical personnel to consider reporting, suspicion of a child abuse must precede, unfortunately a small percentage of the participants have had previous related training and thus knowledge on the presentation of a suspected child abuse case, where among them 87.8% have been always able to detect cases, which gave a significant relationship (P<0.05).

In conclusion there is a strong impact of training on the ability to detect child abuse cases which leaves us to relentlessly emphasize the importance of training and call for filling the gap by implementing a comprehensive training program for medical personnel that includes child abuse detection. On the other hand, formulating a reporting and a referral system for such cases to ensure that they inevitably reach the Family and Child Protection Units for appropriate management.



[1] Parmar, S. (2007). An Overview of the Sudanese Legal System and Legal Research - GlobaLex. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Feb. 2017].

[2] Arianne Hélène Teeuw, 2011 Sep 1, Detection of child abuse and neglect at the emergency room, Eur J Pediatr [ cited 2 September 2017 ]