Posted on 29 November, 2012

Photo: Residents of Gumuruk village in Jonglei State return to their homes after spending a month fleeing violence in the bush. South Sudan 2012 © Robin Meldrum/MSF
South Sudan: Displacement and Destruction of Health Facilities in Jonglei State
Ongoing violence in South Sudan’s Jonglei state has had a devastating impact on tens of thousands of people, with many forcibly displaced and further cut off from health care due to the destruction of medical facilities.
While Jonglei state has a long history of intercommunal cattle-raiding, thousands of civilians, including women, and children as young as four months old, have been caught up in violent attacks since 2009, which usually occur during the dry season. A disarmament campaign begun in mid-2012 led to widespread insecurity and was accompanied by abuses against civilians. Further fighting in Jonglei between a militia group and South Sudan’s armed forces has compounded the violence, causing new displacements at the height of malaria season. Health care is threatened as medical facilities are targeted and destroyed.
“Patients arriving in MSF clinics seeking treatment for injuries describe how they have been forced to make devastating decisions about which children to flee with and which children to leave behind,” said Chris Lockyear, MSF operational manager. “What we are seeing is an emergency; the lives and health of Jonglei’s population are hanging by a thread. The dry season is now upon us, making movement around the area possible again, and we fear a further spike in violence, injury, and displacement.”

Photo: Residents of Gumuruk village in Jonglei State return to their homes after spending a month fleeing violence in the bush. South Sudan 2012 © Robin Meldrum/MSF

South Sudan: Displacement and Destruction of Health Facilities in Jonglei State

Ongoing violence in South Sudan’s Jonglei state has had a devastating impact on tens of thousands of people, with many forcibly displaced and further cut off from health care due to the destruction of medical facilities.

While Jonglei state has a long history of intercommunal cattle-raiding, thousands of civilians, including women, and children as young as four months old, have been caught up in violent attacks since 2009, which usually occur during the dry season. A disarmament campaign begun in mid-2012 led to widespread insecurity and was accompanied by abuses against civilians. Further fighting in Jonglei between a militia group and South Sudan’s armed forces has compounded the violence, causing new displacements at the height of malaria season. Health care is threatened as medical facilities are targeted and destroyed.

“Patients arriving in MSF clinics seeking treatment for injuries describe how they have been forced to make devastating decisions about which children to flee with and which children to leave behind,” said Chris Lockyear, MSF operational manager. “What we are seeing is an emergency; the lives and health of Jonglei’s population are hanging by a thread. The dry season is now upon us, making movement around the area possible again, and we fear a further spike in violence, injury, and displacement.”

Photo: Mateso Emilienne, 25, was picked up by MSF ambulance the previous day from Gatumba Health Center. Her baby was delivered via Caesarean section. Burundi 2012 © Sarah Elliott
Low-Cost Health Interventions Drastically Reducing Maternal Mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi
Medical data gathered in 2011 from MSF projects in Bo, Sierra Leone, and Kabezi,Burundi indicate that the introduction of ambulance referral systems, together with the provision of emergency obstetric services, can significantly reduce the risk of women dying from pregnancy-related complications.
“You do not need state-of-the-art facilities or equipment to save many women’s lives,” said Vincent Lambert, MSF’s medical advisor for Burundi. “MSF’s experience can serve as an encouraging example for donors, governments and other NGOs considering investing in the improvement of access to emergency obstetric care in countries with high maternal mortality rates.”
The research, published in the paper, “Safe Delivery: Reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi,” is the first of its kind to quantify the impact of such a model of care on maternal mortality in an African setting.

Photo: Mateso Emilienne, 25, was picked up by MSF ambulance the previous day from Gatumba Health Center. Her baby was delivered via Caesarean section. Burundi 2012 © Sarah Elliott

Low-Cost Health Interventions Drastically Reducing Maternal Mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi


Medical data gathered in 2011 from MSF projects in Bo, Sierra Leone, and Kabezi,Burundi indicate that the introduction of ambulance referral systems, together with the provision of emergency obstetric services, can significantly reduce the risk of women dying from pregnancy-related complications.

“You do not need state-of-the-art facilities or equipment to save many women’s lives,” said Vincent Lambert, MSF’s medical advisor for Burundi. “MSF’s experience can serve as an encouraging example for donors, governments and other NGOs considering investing in the improvement of access to emergency obstetric care in countries with high maternal mortality rates.”

The research, published in the paper, “Safe Delivery: Reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi,” is the first of its kind to quantify the impact of such a model of care on maternal mortality in an African setting.