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By Godfrey Olukya 18-12-2013

The situation in South Sudan has worsened in the last few days after
troops royal to different factions started exchanging gun fire early
this week, Africa press has reported.

Armed clashes in Juba since 15 December have left hundreds in urgent
need of medical care. Thousands of civilians, including women and
children, have fled their homes in search of safety, taking very
little with them. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
is providing the city’s two major hospitals with support so that they
can cope with the heavy influx of patients.

More than 300 people have been admitted to Juba Teaching Hospital and
Juba Military Hospital over the past two days. The ICRC and the South
Sudan Red Cross have delivered to the hospitals enough wound-dressing
materials and other urgently needed medical supplies to treat up to
500 people.

“We know there are more people who need care, but they are having
difficulty reaching health-care facilities because of the security
situation and the lack of available transportation,” said Felicity
Gapes, an ICRC delegate who is leading the medical response on the
ground. “Staff in both hospitals have been working around the clock,
but they are struggling because of the sheer volume of patients and
the severity of the injuries.”

The ICRC is calling on the fighting parties to take all feasible
precautions to minimize civilian casualties and to allow people to
safely reach health-care facilities. The organization is closely
monitoring needs. Together with the South Sudan Red Cross, it will
take further action as the security situation permits.

END

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