In response to the growing humanitarian crisis that has caused deaths, high numbers of civilian injuries in Juba City and the displacement of thousands of residents fleeing from the conflict, WHO has donated to Juba Teaching Hospital accident and emergency unit trauma kits sufficient to conduct 500 surgeries and various intravenous infusions to save the lives of the increasing number of injured patients. In addition, WHO has provided 100 body bags and personal protective equipment (PPE) for dead body management.
Hundreds of people have been injured in Juba City with over 300 causalities recorded on 8 July 2016 when fresh violence erupted. The crisis has seen a further disruption in the health services. Health workers have fled for safety and medical supplies are insufficient for the rising number of casualties.
“Since the beginning of the crisis, WHO in collaboration with partners is working to ensure that those displaced have access to the much needed essential health services. We are determined to meet the huge gap in supplies and alleviate the shortage of basic and lifesaving medicines, medical supplies and laboratory reagents in the health facilities, which are fast dwindling,” said Dr Usman Abdulmumini, WHO South Sudan Country Representative. “This requires urgent flow of financial resources to enable us save lives,” he added.
Currently, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) estimates over 34,000 displaced people are seeking shelter in the crowded Protection of Civilian (PoC) areas in the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), UN House, and collective centers around Juba including World Food Program Compound, ADRA Compound and churches.
As the humanitarian situation in South Sudan deteriorates and fear among the citizens rises, the numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are likely to increase further, thus increasing the humanitarian needs in the country. Mass population movement in the country and overcrowded settlements pose a risk of potential disease outbreaks such as measles and other water-borne diseases.
Working with national authorities and health partners, WHO will continue to strengthen the existing health services to enable it to respond to the high influx of IDPs. This includes timely provision of life-saving primary health care services and reliable referral services; maintaining regular medicines and equipment supply chain as well as timely detection and response to communicable diseases and malnutrition.