South Sudan Hospitals Overwhelmed By War Victims

January 17, 2014 7:03 pm0 comments by:
Patients receiving treatment UNMISS Photo

Patients receiving treatment UNMISS Photo

By Joseph Elunya &Agencies

Health workers in South Sudan are reporting that they have been overwhelmed by the high number of patients.

The health workers who are operating from Juba’s  Tomping base, which hosts over 17,000 displaced South Sudanese says they are facing tremendous challenges.

According to the Hospital Commandant of Tomping Dr. Chanthy Phok, the 25 bed hospital is now host to 100 patients.

“We have many women and children,” he said. “These need treatment for which the hospital was not equipped in the first place.” Notes Dr. Phok.

The hospital, which is ordinarily intended for UN staff, was now dealing with pregnancies and deliveries and children’s diseases.

“Treating children is a real challenge because we have medicine that is intended for adults, not syrups for children. Now we have to improvise and make powder out of tablets in order to get some treatment for the children.” The medic remarked in an interview on Friday.

The most common diseases were malaria, diahorrea and measles, he said.

A weekly reported issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 15 January said 39 new suspected measles cases had been recorded from Tomping internally displaced person (IDP) camp in Juba in the last week.

“WHO and cluster partners are making efforts to control the measles outbreaks in all the displaced people’s camps through emergency vaccination campaigns,” the report said.

According to Dr. Kouassi Rene Kouame, a member of a team that recently joined the mission to deal with increased cases requiring surgery, lack of necessary tools was also a problem.

“We got someone who was injured near the neck and needed a special tool in order to operate on him,” said Dr. Kouame. “We had to improvise, to create the tool. Luckily, the operation went well and the patient will soon be discharged.”

He noted, however, that there were many cases of pregnant women needing caesarean sections, which was difficult in situations where decisions were taken late, depending on the arrival time of patients.

“We had one C-section that was not successful,” he said, adding that the hospital was now encouraging women to get checked as early as possible so that decisions could be made in time.

Doctors at the hospital also said it was important that both humanitarian actors and IDPs worked to ensure better hygiene in the camp to prevent the increasing number of people acquiring preventable diseases.

“Water and sanitation conditions remain dire in most areas, posing a higher risk of water borne diseases,” the WHO report also said.

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