Agok/Geneva, 12 April 2012 – The international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is treating patients wounded during aerial bombardments of Abiemnom, Unity state, South Sudan.
MSF’s hospital in Agok, 36 km east of Abiemnom, received four wounded patients, a woman and three children, who had severe open wounds that required surgery. All of them are now in a stable condition. The MSF team in Agok has also donated drugs and equipment to the Ministry of Health’s medical centre in Abiemnom to help treat 40 wounded patients there.
Violence on the border between Sudan and South Sudan, in the contested Abyei region, has increased over the past couple of weeks and the situation remains extremely volatile. “In this region the population is on the frontline. Emergencies are unfolding one after another,” said Emmanuel Roussier, MSF’s head of mission in Juba. “Our teams are doing their best to respond to people’s most urgent needs – whether for food, shelter or healthcare. Our constant concern is to provide comprehensive secondary healthcare and lifesaving activities to all the communities in the region.”
Since clashes broke out in May 2011, MSF has been operating mobile clinics throughout the Abyei region, including in Machbong, Abathok, Mading Achueng, Akack Nyel, Leu, Marial Achak, Mabok, Rumamer and Abiemnom, reaching approximately 100,000 people. All severely sick or wounded patients are referred to MSF’s hospital in Agok.
MSF staff in Agok are prepared to respond to a further influx of wounded. They are also ready to scale up healthcare, and to provide shelter materials and relief to people affected by violence.
In November 2011, following an assessment of food security and nutrition in the area, MSF began providing supplementary food for all children under five, reaching up to 15,000 children. MSF also conducted a large-scale measles vaccination campaign.
MSF has been working in the contested Abyei region since 2006. After violent clashes in 2008, which forced thousands of people to flee south, MSF set up a hospital in Agok, on the border between Warrap state, South Sudan, and the contested area of Abyei. The hospital provides a wide range of services for both outpatient and inpatients, and has an operating theatre for surgery, a maternity ward, a paediatric unit, a tuberculosis ward and a therapeutic feeding centre for malnourished children. In 2011, staff carried out 31,187 outpatient consultations and 2,418 patients were admitted as inpatients to Agok hospital.