The good nurse: Lillian Achirochan consults with a patient at the Pibor Health Care Centre. The centre in now under ForAfrika’s management
Inter-communal conflict in South Sudan in December left 60 dead and many more injured and displaced. ForAfrika’s clinic staff stepped up to the task and took on emergency cases
The lone teenaged gunshot victim in a clinic ward in South Sudan lost his whole family to inter-communal conflict in late December.
He was alone, in pain and frightened.
He is one of 29 patients at Pibor Primary Health Care Centre (PHCC) which ForAfrika started managing a few days before the violence erupted.
“Before the conflict started we were basically offering nutrition services. Now we are offering health services as well,” said nurse Lillian Achirochan, who safely delivered five babies, including twins, in her first week at work.
“It was the ultimate test for me and the team,” said Dr Waleed Michael, ForAfrika’s medical doctor who heads up the PHCC.
“Some of the patients were in very bad shape with septic wounds, shattered limbs and in agony. We worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to evacuate 17 critically wounded patients to Juba for comprehensive care,” he said.
“We are grossly understocked with medical supplies and consumables. Mothers are delivering under very tough conditions at the ward. They have to endure the pain through the delivery and after,” Lillian added.
“Another major challenge is that there’s barely any food for them to eat. This threatens the health of the babies and mothers alike.”
Dr Michael continued: “The PHCC is the only medical facility attending to all patients with varying kinds of injuries and medical conditions. There’s an urgent need to equip and restock virtually everything as the number of patients attended to at the facility has more than tripled.”
According to the United Nations, about 30,000 people were forced to flee, many of whom headed for Pibor town. About 60 people died and many were injured.
ForAfrika launched an emergency response and has provided basic medical supplies and support, emergency food rations and therapeutic foods for malnourished children. But, more needs to be done as people have lost their homes and livelihoods. Four of ForAfrika’s nutrition clinics were badly damaged.
“The current emergency only exacerbates the already high demand for services,” says Basilio Okello, ForAfrika’s Director of Programmes in South Sudan.
South Sudan continues to be plagued by political and communal clashes over cattle and land as well as experiencing severe flooding brought about by climate change. The UN estimates that 9.4-million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2023.
ForAfrika will be on the ground to assist wherever possible. Your donation will make it possible. Andrew Ewoku is Communications Specialist at ForAfrika in South Sudan