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Sat. May 18th, 2024
By Godfrey Olukya    20-5-2013
A hospital belonging to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)  in South Sudan’s
Pibor town has been destroyed by armed thugs. MSF has condemned the destruction at  its hospital. It claims that the attack was purposefully conducted to render the hospital inoperative. The attack has left around 100,000 people, who had fled into the bush seeking safety from the conflict between South Sudan Army and the David YauYau armed militia group, deprived of healthcare.Therapeutic medical food and hospital beds were looted from MSF’s hospital nine days ago. During the attack, massive destruction of hospital facilities were carried out by the attackers.

‘A special effort was made to destroy drug supplies,  strewing them on the ground, to cut and slash the warehouse tents, to ransack the hospital wards, and even to cut electricity cables and rip them from the walls, ‘said Richard Veerman, MSF Coordinator of Operations for South Sudan.

The MSF hospital is the only hospital facility for Pibor county, the nearest alternative being more than 150km away. 3,000 patients have been treated over the first three months of the year in this hospital. More than 100 patients, including SPLA soldiers, received surgery for war wounds.

‘The rainy season has just started and we know from previous years that malaria and respiratory diseases such as pneumonia will start to claim lives if there is no healthcare available, ‘says Veerman.

Humanitarian access and medical assistance need to be resumed in Pibor
county in the coming days or weeks. ‘It is unthinkable that there will be no healthcare whatsoever for the next six months for some 100,000 frightened and vulnerable people hiding in the swamps , said Veerman. ‘But unless we can return to resume medical activities and have the freedom to move to wherever people need assistance, this unthinkable scenario may become the horrific reality.’

This is the sixth time an MSF medical facility has been looted or damaged in Jonglei State in the past two years. MSF had recently resumed operations in that area after it had suspended activities  because of threats and intimidation of staff and patients.

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