New primary health centre inaugurated in Wau to support returnees’ health needs

A complex primary health care centre comprising an outpatient department, a maternity unit, a laboratory and pharmacy, has been inaugurated in the Jebel Kheir neighbourhood of Wau, to support the people who are voluntarily returning to their home areas following years of displacement due to conflict.

The project that cost 150,000 US dollars was implemented by the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), with funds from the Japanese government.

When the centre was opened people started coming in in big numbers; treatment is being provided. I encourage people to come back home, said Susana Mario, Chief of Jebel Kheir, referring to the people who still reside in the UN protection of civilian sites.

Ms. Susana emphasized the importance of the centre, noting that some people who had been suffering have been rescued, and that it had boosted the confidence of the people in the area.

It’s an amazing support by the government of Japan to the people of Wau, through the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said Dr. James Patrice, Minister of Health in Wau.

Dr. Patrice stressed that the health facility will have a great impact on the people who are now voluntarily returning to their homes from the protection of civilian sites.

I am truly proud to stand with you today knowing the work that IOM, in partnership with the Japanese government and the community, has put into completing this essential clinic for the people of Jebel Kheir, said Jean Phillipe, IOM Country Director in South Sudan

Mr. Phillipe said as the peace process continues to advance, more people are likely to return home. He urged humanitarian partners to increase their efforts to meet the demands of the returnees.

Sam Muhumure, Head of UNMISS Field Office in Wau urged the community to take ownership of the facility and sustain it for the benefit of the entire Wau area.

To the community, the challenge of Africa has always been sustainability. This is not the first facility to be built � paid for by the taxpayers of Japan. But at times we take it as something for IOM, or something the government [should be responsible for], and we don’t take it as our own, said Mr. Muhumure, urging the Wau community to maintain the facility.

I am very glad to be here to inaugurate the new clinic. This is a part of the support we committed to South Sudan, said Seiji Okada, Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan. Japan and I are very pleased to see that there is peace in South Sudan, he said, also noting that the project will support internally displaced people returning to their homes in Wau.

Zakaria Joseph Garang, Acting Governor of Wau, acknowledged the support of the Japanese government and urged the citizens to take advantage of the facility.

Japan is a country far from us, but they know that there are people who have a lot of problems in South Sudan, said Mr. Zakaria. They decided to support South Sudan, and this would have not happened if our government was not strong to stand and tell them we need something here, concluded the Acting Governor, as he joined other speakers on the day to call on those still in the protection camps to return home.

Source: UN Mission in South Sudan