Two international aid agencies have established clinics in Yei town in response to health challenges following the closure of many health facilities because of insecurity.
Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) has established its clinic along the Yei-Maridi road, while the International Organization for Migration (IOM) clinic is located on Yei-Kaya road.
The clinics will ease the burden on other local health facilities including St. Bakhita health centre, Martha clinic, and Yei state hospital, among others.
The IOM has deployed a rapid response team to Yei – a Central Equatoria town – where IDPs and members of the host community are in need of humanitarian assistance due to months of insecurity.
Together with Africa Action Help International and the South Sudan health department, the IOM health team has set up a temporary clinic to provide emergency primary health care, as well as immunizations and reproductive health care.
“The number of consultations is expected to increase in the coming days as health promoters visit households to inform the community of the availability of health services,” said Ashley McLaughlin, Media and Communications Officer for IOM.
A UN refugee report earlier said 100,000 people were trapped in Yei and lacked basic humanitarian needs, including health services.
In an exclusive interview with TCT, Kogo Manase Levi, State minister for Health and Environment said the state’s health situation is better following the intervention of the aid agencies.
Kogo thanked international and local health partners for responding to health challenges of the desperate people in Yei.
He said that “at least 200 patients visit and are being attended to on a daily basis” at the MSF clinic alone, which works for six days in a week. He said this was possible because of the partnership between local church-affiliated health facilities and the development partners.
“I welcome also the initiative of IOM which has established a clinic…. now patients are also being attended to in this health facility,” he said.
Many health facilities in rural areas are not functional
Many health facilities in the rural areas of the state, however, are not functional or they are inaccessible due to insecurity. They also face the challenge of few health workers and lack of drugs.
Kogo said the state government is trying its best to take services to people in the rural areas, because the authorities have been receiving disturbing news of mothers dying in labour due to lack of medication.
According to the acting director of Yei River County health department, Michael Lugala, blockage of roads due to insecurity has crippled efforts to take drugs to rural areas.
“Let the roads be opened so that we reach our people in the villages,” he said recently, adding that cases of malaria are already increasing in the town.
State Governor David Lokonga Moses acknowledged the efforts of humanitarian agencies in supporting the people in his state.
He urged armed opposition groups and government forces to open roads so that people in rural areas can access services in the town and for aid agencies to reach them.
“People in the rural areas should move freely on the roads so that those who want to go to the village or come to the town can do so,” he told TCT.