WHO provides life-saving health care to meet the urgent health needs of an internally displaced community in Rokon County, South Sudan

Juba � The World Health Organization (WHO) emergency medical mobile team (EMMT) in collaboration with the Jubek State Ministry of Health and partners, supported the provision of the much-needed integrated essential lifesaving health care services to over 5 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Dulamaya Boma in Rokon County, Jubek State from 8 � 14 April 2019. This was in a bid to fulfil the recommendations of the initial rapid assessment conducted in March 2019.

The Internally displaced community, including vulnerable women and children were recently displaced from Minga payam of Kediba County to Dulamaya, located 22 kilometers from Rokon with an extremely arduous terrain making it difficult to reach the community, and with no access to health care services. These communities live in a very unconducive environment and were in urgent need of health care and other life-saving services.

During the seven-day long camp, the mobile medical team reached over 700 children under five years of age with first doses of different antigens including Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG), measles, polio, pentavalent in accordance with the immunization schedule; 115 women of child bearing age with Tetanus Toxoid vaccination; screened over 2 000 persons as outpatients and those who presented with medical conditions were treated for among others malaria, respiratory infections, poor sanitation related illnesses; while those with major medical conditions requiring further secondary care (or specialized care) were referred; and pregnant mother were provided with Ante-Natal Care (ANC) services and screening for malnutrition.

To strengthen surveillance, 15 people including chiefs and women representatives were recruited and trained for community-based disease surveillance including health education and hygiene promotion

The services provided by WHO and other partners were acknowledged and highly appreciated by the community leadership including the Rokon County Executive Director who represented the County Commissioner, and Paramount Chief saying. we are grateful that WHO expressed real concern for the suffering population in the bushes of Dulamaya.

‘In line with the Emergency Response framework, WHO continues to play a critical role in providing leadership in health emergencies preparedness and response, prepositioning life-saving emergency supplies and logistics to support the States, implementing partners and response missions to disease outbreaks’, says Dr Guracha Guyo, Emergency Coordinator.

During the first quarter of 2019, over 108 assorted medical supplies were propositioned to support emergency missions, and 133 were provided to 30 health implementing partners estimated to benefit over 100 000 people.

Providing essential life-saving primary health care to hard to reach, internally displaced populations is key to meeting the health needs of deep front-line areas where static health care facilities are not either operational or do not exist, Dr Guyo reiterated.

To support the mission, WHO provided assorted medical and non-medical supplies, and other required logistics, while United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provided assorted reproductive health supplies and United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) provided the vaccines and cold chain.

This mission was made possible through the generous support from South Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SSHF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Gavi and European Union Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). For continuity, the lead health implementing partner operating in Rokon will provide mobile medical services to the IDPs.

Source: World Health Organization