South Sudan

Sole hospital in Jonglei Twic East county burns to the ground

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March 25, 15 (BOR) – The only hospital in Jonglei state’s Twic East county was destroyed on Tuesday after a fire broke out.

The local population remained helpless as the fire consumed the building, with blackened walls now the only thing left standing among the charred debris.

“There was [a] fire outbreak inside the hospital. The fire appeared from the room where the staff were trying to refuel [an] EPI (extended program immunisation) fridge that used the paraffin,” Twic East county commissioner Dau Akoi told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

He said the fridge had become hot and caught fire, with the flames quickly spreading throughout the room.

“The fire caught the fridges and the whole block. There was no fire extinguishers and no fire brigade forces to fight it,” he said. “The community could not help because the magnitude of the fire was [too] high.”

The hospitals outpatient and emergency departments were destroyed, along with its pharmacy, wards, laboratories, furniture and bedding.

The hospital had dealt with serious medical cases and is normally cut off from state capital Bor during the rainy season when roads become impassable.

With no functioning hospital to treat patients anymore, there are fears the health situation in the county will rapidly deteriorate, particularly during the upcoming rainy season.

“The situation is bad, all the drugs are burned. This was the only main hospital in the county, it is burned to ashes,” said Akoi.

There was no loss of life as a result of the fire, with all patients evacuated in time.

The state’s ministry of health is expected to visit Twic East within a week to assess the level of damage.

No-one has been arrested in connection to the fire.