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South Sudan | New MSF hospital reaches people cut off from care
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has started a project in the northeastern town of Ulang, close to the Ethiopian border in South Sudan’s Upper Nile region.
The project has been set up to address the needs of people living in a remote and neglected area who have been affected by years of war and frequent bouts of intercommunal violence and who struggle to access medical care.
We have already set up a 30-bed hospital and a referral system in Ulang, which is the only facility providing secondary healthcare for the 100,000 or so people living in Ulang town and in villages scattered along the Sobat river.
“Due to the conflict, many people living in this area between frontlines have been forced to move, often several times,” says Abdalla Hussein, MSF’s country representative in South Sudan.
“Many have been displaced to Ethiopia and remain there in refugee camps; others have come back to find there are no longer services or livelihoods.”
In July 2018 MSF launched a short-term emergency response, running mobile clinics in Ulang and the surrounding area. In October MSF opened the new hospital, and in April MSF took the decision to run it as a stable project.
“Our aim is to provide secondary healthcare to very vulnerable people affected by recurrent outbreaks of different kinds of violence, living in a dire situation and with little access to basic services, meaning that sometimes people have to walk for hours and even days to reach much-needed healthcare,” says Hussein.
Between October 2018 and April 2019, MSF’s team in Ulang provided 3,200 consultations, helped 81 women to give birth and admitted 719 inpatients, including 287 children in the paediatric ward.