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New Health Facilities for Sudanese Refugees

South Sudan continues to experience violence, fear and political turmoil with over 1.9 million South Sudanese internally displaced and almost a quarter of a million refugees from Sudan.

US President Barack Obama convened a meeting on July 27 this year with regional leaders to try to end South Sudan’s civil war. One US official stated that if no agreement can be reached, it is possible that a regional military force will be sent in to intervene (CNN, 2015).

The situation is desperate. People are being driven from their homes. They have no food and some are eating leaves, grass and porridge made from water lilies to survive.

They’re facing hunger and they’re facing war. There is a lot of disease in areas where people are packed together in small spaces without a lot of sanitation. There has been a hepatitis B outbreak, many children are very dehydrated from diarrhoea and malaria is a constant factor, especially in the rainy season.

Samaritan’s Purse operates the only currently functioning surgical hospital in Maban County, Upper Nile State where many of the displaced families and refugees are. A new hospital building with a surgical theatre, isolation ward, laboratory and other facilities was completed in March 2014.

Dr Lance Plyler, emergency medical response manager at Samaritan’s Purse praised the new facilities saying, “[These facilities] will help us expand and enhance our medical outreach to the residents as well as refugees here.”

Until recently, operations were conducted by the only doctor on staff, Dr Evan Atar, who was working or on call 24 hours a day. With this expansion, we have added two more doctors, a nursing staff director, and a nurse midwife, as well as employing more nurses and lab technicians from South Sudan.

We feel blessed to have contributed substantial resources for the improvement of this hospital through the generosity of Australian and New Zealand donors. Please pray for the displaced families and refugees in South Sudan.