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.
We don’t take sides; we care for people on all sides of this war. For neighbors shot for cutting down a tree; for children shot for being in the wrong place at the wrong time; for people injured by a blast while going down the street for bread; for entire families who have had grenades thrown at them.
When you’re faced with these horrific injuries, it can be difficult, however, like medical people in all arenas, you just keep going with the knowledge that it’s about caring for the patients and not about how you react to it. I am always aware of the difference of my position compared to our patients … that I can leave.
The people of Mogadishu are bearing the brunt of an ongoing, vicious war, and our medical staff is struggling to keep up. This latest round of violence, which has been growing in intensity for the last month, is straining our capacity to adequately meet the enormous emergency medical needs of the population.
Thierry Goffeau, MSF Head of Mission