Exposed to extreme violence and living in fear for their lives, hundreds of thousands of people in South Sudan are unable to access basic necessities such as food, water and healthcare.
We work in hospitals and clinics throughout the country, where we are running some of our biggest programmes worldwide.
Our teams provide basic and specialised healthcare and respond to emergencies and outbreaks affecting isolated communities, internally displaced people and refugees from Sudan.
Finding reasons for hope in South Sudan
What’s happening in South Sudan? How is MSF meeting urgent medical needs? How are we making a long-term impact?
Splintered by conflict, South Sudan struggles to meet the essential needs of its people. For many, access to even basic healthcare, food and water is a struggle.
Will Harper, a former head of mission for MSF in South Sudan, talks about some reasons for optimism despite the tremendous humanitarian challenges.
Tens of thousands of people in South Sudan have died and roughly one in three have been forced from their homes since renewed conflict broke out in December 2013. Our teams are constantly on the move to continue to provide displaced people with medical care. Our South Sudanese staff have also been displaced, and have continued to care for patients while hiding from violence. We also provide much-needed medical and mental health care in Protection of Civilians camps, where hundreds of thousands of people remain trapped in a hostile and insalubrious environment.
Medical care is practically non-existent for people living in remote areas of South Sudan, even those spared from much of the violence associated with the war. We run hospitals and clinics and support existing state facilities, in particular with maternal, paediatric and neonatal care and outbreak response. We train community healthcare workers, run outreach and preventive activities such as vaccination campaigns, and treat diseases such as tuberculosis and kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis).
Malaria is one of the leading causes of sickness and death in South Sudan, especially among children. Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of contracting malaria during the three-month malaria peak, which begins in the country’s rainy season and can overwhelm medical workers.
At their peak in 2017, malnutrition rates among our patients in Pibor were three times higher than the previous year. We carried out an emergency nutritional intervention here and in response to reports of alarming levels of malnutrition in Mayendit and Leer counties.
Like malaria, cholera is endemic in South Sudan. As well as vaccinating almost 200,000 people in the capital, Juba, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, our teams responded to outbreaks in Lankien and Aburoc in 2017.
We provide basic and specialised healthcare for Sudanese refugees living in camps in Yida and Doro and for the surrounding communities, including mass vaccinations and treatment for malaria and malnutrition.