June 17, 2019
Opération Sourire: Celebrating 30 Years
Since independence in 2011, thousands have been forced to flee their homes. The sporadic violence and instability continues, and in August 2017 the number of refugees fleeing South Sudan into neighboring Uganda passed the one million mark.
Doctors of the World began working in the town of Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, in late 2017. Our team, including medical doctors and midwives, provides technical support to Bor’s main hospital, where we work in the maternity and pediatric wards.
Decades of war have left the South Sudanese health infrastructure extremely fragile, so we organize trainings and capacity building workshops for the hospital staff on how they can respond to the needs of the local community. Our team is also working to put the systems in place that control access to treatments and prescriptions in partnership with the hospital administration, the Ministry of Health and other key health actors.
The hospital staff have not been paid for months, so we also aim to provide them with incentives so that they can continue working with and registering the regular influx of patients that come through the hospital doors.
We spoke with Helea Saiz, the Emergency Coordinator for our program in South Sudan to hear updates on the project.
“Thankfully, things have been quiet in Bor. Our teams follow the security protocols and have not had any incidents since we arrived. However, in the dry season, rural areas can be more dangerous due to the practice of cattle raiding. Hundreds of people can be killed in one cattle raid.
One of the biggest problems for South Sudan at the moment is food insecurity. Government officials and NGO’s have estimated that by June, 52% of the population will be starving. In preparation for this we are exploring ways in which we can begin working on malnutrition prevention.”