The baby’s foot was injured. The mother had stabilized the little foot with a piece of cardboard from a food package and a dirty cloth. The sight of this hit me. I felt this enormous empathy for the woman who did all she could to help her baby with the small resources she has.
When they attacked, I was outside my compound. I started running, but I was pregnant so did not run fast enough. [The attackers] caught up with me and beat me on the head and I fell down. When I was on the ground, they opened my stomach with knives and my baby fell out. I was eight months pregnant. I have one other child in the hospital. They kicked the head of my child. She was suffering a lot, but now the child has been in the MSF hospital and is better.
17-year-old female patient from Wek (Uror county), treated in Nasir (Upper Nile state), March 2012
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. A new MSF report contains harrowing accounts of civilians caught up in attacks on villages.
So I was looking forward to the free movies on the flight from Kigali and Amsterdam. At midnight, there was a call for a doctor as a woman was in labour…
After being served numerous rounds of tea, one of the nutritional surveyors brought forth a father carrying his tiny child – a baby of 4 weeks, who had been sick with diarrhea for one week, and now looked like an emaciated bird. The father sat on the edge of the pink frilly mattress, and cried while I asked questions about the baby’s illness. The father, speaking fluent French, described how days earlier he had walked 4 hours each way with the baby in search of help from the nearest health centre. The health centre had been closed, and he had returned home with the baby.