About Sudan

The Republic of the Sudan is a country located in Northeast Africa, bordered by Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Red Sea. It is the third largest country by area in Africa. The population of 46.8 million people lives mostly in the southern half of the country, with about 36 percent of the population living in urban areas such as the capital of Khartoum. The population is predominantly ethnically Sudanese Arab, in addition to Fur, Beja, Nuba, and Fallata. The majority of the Sudanese population identifies as Sunni Muslim, with a small unspecificed Christian minority. Arabic and English are the official languages and are most commonly spoken throughout the country, in addition to Nubian, Ta Bedawie, and Fur. While neighboring Egypt is more famous for its pyramids, Sudan is home to the world’s largest number of pyramids in a single country: around 200–250 structures.

Sudan became an independent country in 1956, and has since experienced decades of conflict and political unrest. A long, deadly civil war between the north and south of the country carried on from 1955–1972, pausing for a few short years before resuming again from 1983 until 2005. In 2005, the conflict ceased, the southern part of the country was granted autonomy, and a referendum in support of South Sudan’s independence came into effect in 2011. As a result of this long history of conflict and Southern secession, Sudan has experienced significant economic instability and inflation. In addition, Sudan is home to large groups of refugees and internally displaced persons, putting more pressure on an already strained country.

Sudan’s history of conflict has also impacted the health of the population. Life expectancy is low, at 65 years. Other challenges include one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Leading causes of death include both communicable and non-communicable diseases, including ischemic heart disease, neonatal disorders, stroke, congenital defects, road injuries, hypertensive heart disease, lower respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, HIV/AIDS, chronic kidney disease, and COPD. The risk factors that contribute most to deaths and disabilities include malnutrition, high blood pressure, air pollution, high body-mass index, dietary risks, high fasting plasma glucose, insufficient clean water and sanitation, tobacco use, high LDL, and kidney dysfunction.

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