South Sudan

Briefing notes - South Sudan, 13 January 2012

News and Press Release
Originally published

Following the clashes in northern Jonglei, health facilities in the affected areas were destroyed and subsequently closed.

Pibor Health Care Centers and Lekuangole and Gumruk Health Care Units which were run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Pibor county were destroyed. Equipment and supplies were also vandalised.

At the height of the clashes, most of the victims and others with health needs may have been unable to seek health services due to the security situation.

The national health staff working in the affected areas fled along with the population, while the international staff were evacuated.

This led to a disruption of routine health services including immunization for eligible children, antenatal and delivery services for women, access to medicines for those with chronic illnesses, among others.

A total of 208 people have been airlifted from 25th Dec to 11th Jan.  Of the 205 people airlifted, 154 have some injuries (mainly gunshot wounds), four have medical conditions (acute febrile illnesses), 18 are children accompanying mothers or evacuees (some breastfeeding babies), 11 are caretakers and 18 are vulnerable people, mainly unaccompanied children.

All evacuated have been taken to Juba Teaching Hospital, with the exception of three taken to Malakal and one to Bor,

The medical evacuation has mainly been conducted by UN Mission in South Sudan and MSF with the coordination by Health Cluster partners

Following the clashes, Juba Teaching Hospital has been severely constrained in terms of care for evacuees including food, medical supplies, space and facilities, and human resources.

The Ministry of Health deployed additional health personnel and ambulances to transport the evacuated patients from the airport.

WHO South Sudan has provided medical and non-medical supplies including food, tents, incentives for staff working extra hours and attending to the evacuated patients.

As people are returning to Pibor and Lekuangole, there is a likelihood of increased medical needs since most of them have been in the bush for over a week. Most of the patients evacuated in the last three days were wounded 5 days ago and have been hiding.

MSF has started the reconstruction of the the Health Care Center facility, equipping and restocking in Pibor town and planning for mobile health services in the other affected areas. This will ensure stabilisation of patients and referral of only severely injured ones.

The main objective for the Health Cluster ( led by WHO) is to restore basic health services, scale up surgical capacity, implement the MISP (minimum initial service package) and control and prevent communicable disease outbreaks in the affected communities in Jonglei state.