South Sudan

UPDATE: 20 July 2016

MSF emergency response teams have now treated more than 2,700 patients in four clinics across the city. We are also supplying clean drinking water in Juba and providing surgery for people seriously wounded during the violence.

On July 12, MSF opened a clinic in the St Theresa church, in Kator, where thousands of people were taking refuge. Medical teams treated up to 400 people per day at the site. Most people have now left St Theresa, with many going home to Gudele, where MSF’s two clinics are now even busier than they were last week. At its fifth clinic at the Don Bosco Church in Gumbo, MSF is providing medical care and distributing relief items including bed nets, blankets and cooking kits.

The main medical needs are malaria, malnutrition, and diarrhea. We are also treating people for gunshot wounds and for injuries sustained as they fled the fighting. Our teams are also treating large numbers of people for acute post violence stress syndrome.

This week MSF started providing surgical care for those injured in the fighting, and we have now operated on five people – mostly for gunshot wounds – with more than 20 awaiting surgery.

New suspected cases of cholera are reported daily in Juba, increasing the number of people being treated in the Juba Teaching Hospital to 36 on Tuesday 19 July. To help prevent outbreaks, especially given that it is the rainy season, MSF is trucking water in to Gudele and to St Theresa and will supply other parts of the city as is needed. MSF will also be supporting the Ministry of Health with its cholera response by helping to treat patients and to manage a laboratory to test suspected cases.

As of July 19, approximately 5,000 refugees newly arrived from South Sudan would have crossed the border into Uganda (UNHCR). They are being directed to Pagiarinya camp where 6,000 refugees have already been staying since 2014. The total capacity of the camp would be 13,000. MSF mission in Uganda is currently assessing the humanitarian needs before deciding an operation, as several other humanitarian actors are already present.

MSF has been working in the region that today constitutes the Republic of South Sudan since 1983.

MSF employs more than 3,200 South Sudanese staff and more than 330 international staff to respond to a wide range of medical emergencies and provide free and high quality healthcare to people in need in 16 project locations across the country.

Most of the 16 MSF projects in South Sudan were busier than expected during the usually less busy months of March and April. Many of MSF’s hospitals and clinics are working at - or even beyond - normal capacity, even though the rainy season is only just starting. With the coming rains, it is realistic to expect an increase in malaria and water-borne diseases, so we can expect medical needs to rise in an environment where MSF is already working hard to keep up with the current patient numbers. Generally, across the country, MSF is seeing health situations that are concerning, but not alarming. Major disruptions - such as violence, displacement, a breakdown in aid organisations’ access to areas in need, or a significant epidemic outbreak - could have rapid and grave consequences for people’s health in an environment that is already fragile.

2016 activities by the numbers

(1 January – 30 April)

  • 235,851 outpatient consultations, of which 88,618 children under 5 years old  
  • 13,716 patients hospitalised, of which 6,058 children under 5 years old  
  • 4,256 surgical operations, and 1,718 war wounded treated  
  • 50,974 patients treated for malaria  
  • 7,050 patients treated for malnutrition, of which 2,449 admitted for intensive treatment  
  • 3,612 babies delivered

Crisis Updates

Ongoing coverage of MSF response to the South Sudan crisis

Activities  2015 International Activity Report

MSF responded to immense medical needs amid a major upsurge in conflict and violence against civilians, as well as an exceptionally severe malaria season.

More than two years of sustained conflict and violence against civilians have taken a huge toll on the people of South Sudan. Over one million people have been displaced and hundreds of thousands have been unable to access medical or humanitarian assistance for months at a time, particularly in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states. MSF scaled up its programmes in response, but access was disrupted repeatedly by fighting and attacks on medical facilities. Compounding this humanitarian crisis, there were frequent drug shortages, even in areas not affected by conflict, and the country also experienced one of its worst malaria seasons in years. MSF treated a total of 295,000 patients for malaria during the year – nearly ten times as many as in 2014.

Extreme levels of conflict, violence and humanitarian need

There was an escalation in conflict and violence in Unity state between April and November, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Many hid in the bush and swamps and MSF received reports of executions, mass rapes, abductions and the razing of entire villages. Five South Sudanese MSF staff were killed amid the extreme levels of violence, and 13 remain unaccounted for.

MSF was forced to temporarily evacuate from Nyal, in May, and twice from Leer, in May and October. As people sought shelter, the population of the UN protection of civilians site (PoC) in Bentiu in northern Unity state increased from 45,000 to over 100,000 by the end of 2015. MSF runs the only hospital in Bentiu PoC and the team rapidly expanded capacity to meet the enormous medical needs of this vulnerable population. MSF also operated mobile clinics and therapeutic feeding programmes in southern Unity state and Bentiu town whenever access was possible. Many patients suffering from severe violence-related injuries were referred to the MSF hospital in Lankien for surgical care. Thousands also fled into northern Jonglei state, where MSF opened a project in Old Fangak providing assistance in a medical centre, mobile clinics for the region and referrals by boat ambulance. MSF opened another clinic in Mayom, a remote location in northern Unity state, providing basic healthcare and secondary referrals to its hospital in Agok. Teams also responded to outbreaks of diseases including measles, malaria and meningitis in Yida refugee camp, currently home to 70,000 Sudanese refugees.

Read more about MSF's activities in South Sudan in 2015.

Year MSF first worked in the country: 1983.

2015 Key figures
Outpatient consultations 915,900
Patients treated for malaria 295,000
Antenatal care consultations 65,300
Measles vaccinations in response to an outbreak 46,400
Routine vaccinations 38,700
Patients treated in feeding centres 11,600
Patients on first-line ARV treatment 3,400
No. staff in 2015 3,322
2015 Expenditure €83.1 million

Figures from 2015 International Activity Report
and 2015 International Financial Report

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