Conflict sparks South Sudan health crisis
Years of violence that peaked in 2013 owing to warfare between government forces and militants. Has claimed tens of thousands of lives and led to over 1 millions South Sudanese fleeing.
The conflict has shattered hopes for a sound medical system.
For a patient who needs to reach a hospital in an emergency the absence of roads is a death sentence.
In Waat, northeast of the country, roads are bad. Seasonal rains have worsened their condition.
To reach the hospital families have to walk through swamps for nine hours.
Many die along the way or simply decide against this arduous journey.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has intervened but with mixed success.
“At least every three months there is a maternal death. This is the minimum. Often there are more,” said Patricia Maina, an ICRC health delegate.
The ICRC is supporting the Waat clinic ensure that people affected by conflict have access to basic healthcare services.
Some other health facilities in the region closed down because of a lack of money, increasing the pressure on Waat.
This structure was originally supposed to provide services to some 45 000 people, but it is currently serving between 60 000 and 70 000 people with only two clinic officers to attend to them.
All the medical supplies in Waat are delivered by airplane or helicopter, and sometimes supplies run low. When fighting broke out in Juba in July, the Waat clinic went weeks without a re-supply.
– CAJ News
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