Patients in Bor say health worker’s strike has left them stranded

Some patients who visit Bor state hospital said no doctors or nurses attend to them. Early this week, health workers in Bor Jonglei state issued an ultimatum unless the government listened to them and cleared their arrears.

A mother of three years daughter Ms.Akon Atem said her child is severely suffering from malaria.

She stated they spent two days in the hospital admission word and could not get any treatment. Ms. Atem said the child is in severe pain, and no doctor or nurse is attending to her.

She said that her child is supposed to be given a Quinine drip, but doctors and nurses left the facilities, leaving them helpless. “The doctors came and told us that they will not be working today. Only God knows what will happen to us,” said Akon.

Another resident in Bor Nyang Akol Majak said she came to see a doctor with her son, who has skin rashes. Surprisingly, she found the outpatients’ department locked and the doctor absent.

She appeals to the government to address the issue quickly and save lives at the hospital.
Doctor Ajak Garang Akech, who works in Bor hospital, says they stopped working until their grievances were met.

Mr.Chot Kueth Kulong is the director-general in the state ministry of health in Jonglei. He said that he is aware of the doctor’s ongoing strike.

He urges doctors to return to work and save lives while discussing with partners to solve the incentives issue. “Within the next two weeks, I hope that they will get their incentives,” Kulong said.

The health workers have been demanding unpaid covid 19 risk incentives and personal protective equipment for safety.

Health Workers in Bor threaten to protest, gives 48 hours ultimatum

Health workers at Bor State Hospital threaten to go on strike over unpaid incentives and poor working conditions. Doctors say the plan to walk off the job and look for greener pastures came as frustration for not being paid regularly make it difficult to support their families.

Doctor Goop Joh Ayom, representing the medical staff at Bor state hospital, narrated that health workers have gone for more than two months without incentives. Doctor Ayom further says she and other medical staff will walk off the job if the government does not address their grievances within the next 48 hours.

“We are suffering, and we need our incentives. Even here in the hospital, we don’t have essential drugs; we write papers to patients to go outside and buy drugs, and some patients cannot afford the drugs. After 72 hours, if there is no response, we will stop working. Only 48 hours are remaining.” Ayom said

Doctor Ayom says it is difficult for medical personnel to treat patients in the emergency room without lifesaving drugs, which they ran out of 3 months ago. She says patients have been dying due to a lack of medicine at the facility.

Nurse John Anyieth Malaak says the medical staff has persevered despite the situation hoping their incentives would be paid but are now feeling frustrated.

 “Up to this juncture, there is not any single paracetamol in the hospital, and patients are sent out to go and buy drugs. And that is the difficult situation we are in. When there is an emergency, we struggle to ensure that the patient’s relative reaches the nearby clinic to bring any emergency drug needed. Otherwise, we have no drugs to help the patients.” Anyieth said

Deng Nhial works with Medico Del Mundo, an NGO paying incentives for medical staff at Bor State Hospital declined to comment.

Jonglei state health Minister Atong Kuol Manyang says she is aware of the doctors’ request and apologized for the delay in paying their incentives but urged the hospital’s medical staff to continue working and saving lives, saying the government will soon address their grievances.

 “We know they are right; this is their incentive, and they deserve to be paid that looking at the type of work that they do saving people’s lives, so we know that they work hard, we rely on them for the health of our community, and we know the important role they play within the health sector” she added.

Minister Manyang urges the Bor hospital medical staff to be patient, saying the ministry will resolve their grievances.

Incentives for staff at Bor state hospital range from 100 to 600 US dollars. A medical doctor receives 600 dollars, a clinical officer gets 400 dollars, while nurses and midwives receive 300 dollars.

Eight Fistula patients receive a repair in Juba

The health authority has reported the successful operation of eight patients with fistula cases from Jonglei state who underwent surgery at Juba Teaching Hospital on Friday.

South Sudan Nurses and Midwifery Association initiate the process of providing medication to affected people without charge.

A fistula is a permanent abnormal passageway between two organs in the body, caused mainly by complicated delivery. The UNFPA organization supports the program through the International Rescue Committee (IRC) organization.

Mary Anok is one of the patients who underwent surgery in Juba.

After battling fistula for two years, she shares her happiness through Mingkaman 100 FM and says she is restored.

“I was successfully operated, and I am thankful to the doctors and organizers. I am restored, and do not worry again. Now, I want to tell my fellow women battling fistula in their homes and fear disclosing in the hospital. This is the right time to use these services for free. Comfort is the best, and there is nothing to fear in health.”

Mawut Awan Kuoni is the public relations officer at South Sudan Nurses and Midwifery Association.

He says they are again calling for women with fistula to register with his office in Bor to undergo operations scheduled for the second week of November.

“We are calling on another group to register with us in these two weeks to go for fistula operation. It is free of charge and available for you. You can get me at Bor emergency ward. That is where I work, and I will register your names and get your contact to keep you updated about the day for surgery.”

Kuoi further stated that Amref Health Africa organization will provide free transport and treatment to the registered beneficiaries in the coming operations.

Last year, 200 fistula patients were operated on without cost in Aweil, Northern Bahr El Gazal.

Cattle vaccination starts in Gogrial, Warrap State

The health department for animal resources and fishery launched cattle vaccination in Gogrial West County this week.

The move is hoping to prevent cattle from lumpy skin diseases, black Quarter, anthrax, Foot and Mouth Diseases. Several cattle died due to flooding this year.

The Animals’ Resources Director-general, Mr. Salvatoria Mayar Mayar, said the campaign is targeted two hundred in Gogrial West County due to shortages of the animal vaccine.

But the vaccination is not free of charge. Herders require to pay 250 South Sudanese pounds, or else your cow is left out.

Mayar said the plan came after cattle keepers raised concern about the death of their livestock in Gogrial.

” We received a message from cattle keepers that their cows are dying. Some cattle owners came with their cattle to near our officer asking for vaccines. We have seen the condition of cows, and we give out vaccines, although it could not be enough to vaccinate every cow. Next month the general vaccination will kick off across the state,” Mayar said.

Some cattle keeper’s spokes to Mayardit FM in Turalei. They welcomed the state initiative and urged the animal resource department to extend vaccination to the villages and other counties of warrap.

“My cows are sick, singe of disease is a cow can have leg swollen and skin rash, for some few days now 15 cows have died, and other cows are now suffering.” 

“My Cows have many diseases that I cannot verify, and I don’t know if they will be okay after receiving vaccines. I like to tell our government to be engaged with partners for more vaccines.” 

“My cows got disease since August this year, and this month also, I have lost some cows of them. I am hoping now that those cows who receive the vaccine will not die.”

The government further called cattle owners to take special precautions against flood-related diseases in poultry and livestock.

Floods have wreaked havoc in many parts of Warrap State this week resulted in the displacement of hundreds, schools closed, and some health facilities evacuated the areas.


A Triplet’s mother calls for support

A mother who gave birth to triplets in Kapoeta Civil Hospital is calling for humanitarian assistance.

Regina Napeyok says she cannot produce enough milk for her three male babies due to a lack of food.

According to her, the husband and relatives never came to visit her since she was brought to the hospital on Monday.

“God has decided to give me these children. Toposa people couldn’t believe I gave birth yesterday. God helped me to reach here in the hospital so that I get help. I really got good support from the doctors here,” said Napeyok.

Napeyok is calling on the government and well-wishers to provide support to her for the better health of the kids.

“Let people help me, am not producing milk for the kids. I am saying people need to help me give food to eat I have nothing now and my husband has run away,” she said

Dorothy Abua, the health officer in charge of the maternity ward at Kapoeta Civil Hospital says Napeyok needs urgent help because she has nothing to feed on.

According to Dorothy the children are in good health but the mother lacks enough blood due to loss of blood during delivery.

“It is was yesterday in the morning that we received a mother from a PHCC she came with triplets live baby boys and the mother had retained product she came on the ground and we received her and we removed retained product but she bled a lot because she gave birth before yesterday and this mother currently is in need of much help there is no breast milk and there is no food for her,” said Dorothy.

She added that CCM organization managed to contribute 50 Kgs of maize flour, soaps, three basins and others but says is not enough.

Dorothy further stated that men should not abandon their wives during delivery because the child is a blessing from God.

“If the husband is to be right here with the mother maybe if the husband could support the mother psychologically because at night they may want to breastfeed the mother want to rest the husband can help it is a curse it is a blessing there are some people who are in need to triplets and they cannot get so we can encourage her and the people of this community that is not a curse but blessing,” explained Dorothy.

She is urging the public to avoid abandoning their loved ones during difficult times.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine consignments arrive in Juba

The first batch of United States donated Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccines arrived in Juba this morning. The 152,950 doses were received at Juba International Airport by Health Minister Elizabeth Acuei Yol and The U.S. Chargé D’affaires, David Renz.

The single-dose J&J COVID-19 vaccines are the third batch of several vaccine shipments to arrive in the country through the support of the COVAX Facility.

The U.S. Charge’d Affaires, David Renz, says the vaccines are part of worldwide United States efforts to combat the global pandemic and help South Sudan respond to COVID-19.

“These vaccines are the next step in our support for protecting the health and wellbeing of the South Sudanese people and for bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an end,” said David Renz at JIA this morning while receiving the vaccines

The J&J vaccine requires only one dose to protect against the virus but, AstraZeneca takes two dosages to vaccinate fully.

South Sudan government has welcomed the donation from the United States, saying the vaccines will expand the protection mechanism against COVID and its variants.

Minister of Health Elizabeth Achuei Yol said the target people to get vaccinates are young adults to offer protection against delta variant. She urges the public to stop listening to rumors about the effects of vaccines.

“The delta variant is with us, and there is no compromise between the young person and elder in this virus. So, you take your time and come forward to take the vaccines. If there is information you want to know, come to us and were the right people to ensure your safety,” Achuei said.

World health organization Country representative Dr. Fabian Ndenzako warned the public not to mix the vaccines from different companies. He says one should consistently get vaccinated either for Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca.

“Effectiveness and guidance on how to use those vaccines are particular to each of these vaccines because there was clinical trial and guideline during the development of these vaccines were achieved through those processes. So, if we use the vaccines, we must follow that as part of the recommendation,” Ndenzako stated.

He encourages adults in South Sudan to get vaccinated to limit the spread of COVID-19 and help protect individuals, families, and communities.

The COVAX Facility is a global partnership comprised of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF, and WHO, to ensure all countries can equitably access COVID-19 vaccines.

Late Dr. Louis Edward suffer homicidal death, the report indicates

The government has released its finding over a medical worker murdered in Panyijiar County, Unity State, by unidentified culprits at large. The forensic report was presented on Sunday by the undersecretary in the Ministry of Health.

Minister of Cabinet Affairs Dr. Elia Lomoro issued a statement stated that the report confirmed: “Dr. Lousi Edward died of homicidal death, citing reparative cuts at the neck, injured major blood vessels of the neck and sustenance of stab wounds to the arms indicating struggle injuries.” Juba Military hospital’s forensic report was presented to the government on Sunday last week.

Late Edward worked for International Rescue Committee –IRC was murdered on May 22 May this year. That forced the organization to suspend its operation in Ganyiel Payam of Panyijiar County temporarily.

An anonymous killing of Dr. Louis in Southern Unity received broader condemnation from the UN, youth, civil society, and government described it as “Heinous and inhumane.”

The national government has directed Unity state Governor Joseph Monytuil to deploy security forces to investigate and arrest culprits.

Minister of Cabinet Affairs also urged SPLM-IO to allow the legally appointed commissioner to take his duty and self-claims Commissioner Handover the area to state government.

In February, President appointed William Gatgiek Mabor as Panyijiar County commissioner under the SPLM-IO ticket. Since his appointment, he was never to the county due to controversies from the community. A former humanitarian worker Mr. Loat Gatluok was identified as a self-imposed county commissioner who is still performing the duty as commissioner.

The government said such controversy should end to allow a smooth implementation of the peace agreement. Authority apology to the health professions for not paying attention to their concern and appreciated them for ended the strike.

Healthcare Workers agreed to reconsider and ease their peaceful strike in what was described as “humanity ground” for all South Sudanese. The medical team said they resumed duties on June 13 June, 2021.

UN, Doctors’ Union, and youth condemn the killing of Dr. Louis

The UN humanitarians Coordinator in South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou, strongly condemns the brutal killing of an aid worker in Panyijiar County, describes it as a “horrific” attack against humanitarian.

Noudéhou says a humanitarian’s convoy, including an ambulance, was also attacked in a separate incident on the same day, a few kilometers away, in Koch county, Unity State.

 “I am appalled by this horrific news of another act of violence against humanitarians in South Sudan. The South Sudanese Doctor working for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) was killed inside a health facility in Ganyliel Payam. Almost at the same time, an IRC’s convoy, including an ambulance, carrying 10 aid workers was shot by unknown gunmen Koch,” said Mr. Noudéhou.

South Sudan Doctor’s Union and Youth of Panyijiar County have called for immediate accountability about the death of Dr. Louis Edward Saleh, working International Rescue Committee in Ganyiel Payam. 

According to numerous sources, Dr. Louis was reportedly murdered on Friday by an unknown group in Panyijiar headquarter. The cause of his death remained uncertain. 

Doctor’s Union was saddened criminal murdering of a medical facility saving lives in the remote village. They petitioned for speedy accountability of the culprit.

The medical fraternity was so disappointed in the state authority’s silence over an incident, which they said attitude ignored the repeated call for protection of health workers. 

Doctors were frustrated by brutal incidents. Allies claimed, “they will not tolerate violence against health workers at your watch.”

“SSDU will consult with all doctors, NGOs, and authorities on options to boycott or withdraw from any State or community that shows hostility towards medical professionals and to agree on new terms and conditions for deployment of health personnel to provide services at community levels.” Doctors stated. 

Diaspora group called Panyijiar Professional Association (PAPA) said they were deeply dismayed by the unfortunate death of a humanitarian worker who had been “treating and resuscitating the lives” of our vulnerable populace in this challenging time.

Youth who signed the statement include Kujiek Ruot Kuajien, Mwalimu Gabriel Mut Giel, Gat-kier Machar Tholpi, and Dak Buoth Riek-Gaak. 

They said on behalf of Panyijiar Professionals and workers in all fields. “We send our heartfelt condolences to his Family, Friends, Colleagues in IRC, and Panyijiar County as a whole.” 

“His passing is a profound loss to not only his family but also to the Panyijiar health sector and the globe, especially during this tough COVID-19 pandemic times.”

“We strongly urge the authorities in Panyijiar and Ganyliel in particular to investigate the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of this medical Doctor. Doing so appropriately will bar the associated guilt and ghost that might trouble Panyijiar in future and ultimately provide meaning to the deserved legacy of Dr. Louis.”

Panyijiar County Commissioner William Gatgiek Mabior said investigations underway, and govt will reveal the fact-finding triggered his death.

According to the UN, at least two aid workers were killed in South Sudan in 2021 and another nine in 2020. A total of 126 humanitarians, mostly South Sudanese, have lost their lives while providing critical assistance to people across the country since the conflict broke out in late 2013.

MSF dismissed seven staffs protested in Abyei

Medicine San Frontiers has dismissed its seven national teams from their jobs over demonstration. The dismissed persons believe to be the ring leaders who led the organization’s staff strike in Agok MSF hospital.

In February this year, MSF staff went on strike over contradictory letters from the office of national labor and national revenue authority.

The dismissal remains unclear because victims have not yet received a formal communication letter from the organization. They said MSF has submitted a sacking letter to the labor office and asks the group to get the letter in the office of labor and public service.

The controversy that occurred from the letter in the labor office indicates that the National Service Insurance Fund, NSIF has to be tax-free, and NRA stated that it should be TAXABLE which prompted the strike.

The Team leader for the sacked group, Mr. Daniel Reec Ador, questioned the dismissal procedure. He said the labor office has no direct roles in an issued letter to the accused staff.

The letter is supposed to be issued by MSF. He asked the organization to provide them with the dismissal letters or go to court.

“If the government is aware of the policy, then they will take back our dismissal letters to MSF and handed them over to us, and if they are not aware of the policy, then they continue keeping those letters. And this issue will take us to court to tell us if this is the right procedure,” he warned.

Abyei RRC officer Mr. Kuaja Yai Kuol clarified the organization had accused the workers of doing illegal strikes without notification, taking control of the hospital.

Kuol accredited that organization has carried the procedural dismissal based on the labor policy.

“We have seen all the procedures and are all correct. So, if anyone has a complaint, we can let him or her come to the labor office or go to court if he/she is not satisfied. So, this is it, either you go to court or come to the labor office”.

Last month, nine MSF committees were suspended indefinitely and warned to write an explanation letter to the MSF office indicating the reasons for the strike.

Machar vaccinated against COVID-19

South Sudan First Vice President vaccinated against COVID-19 on Wednesday, 7 April 2021.

Dr. Riek Machar takes the AstraZeneca vaccine’s first jab after Health Minister Elizebath Achuei was vaccinated at Juba Teaching Hospital on Tuesday.

He [Machar] became the first top government official of South Sudan from the Presidency to receive his jab.

Martin Gama Abucha, Executive of First Vice President’s office, said among the people vaccinated include Minister of Electricity and Dams, Hon. Peter Marcello, as well as several senior staff in the office of the First Vice President.

Dr. Machar also called the public to continue to observe preventive measures, including wearing the face mask and social distancing.

South Sudanese health workers have received a COVID-19 vaccinate rollout at Juba teaching hospital this week. The ministry of health launched the first coronavirus vaccine in partnership with World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization stated on Wednesday said it had formed an advisory committee on vaccine safety.

It stated the COVID-19 subcommittee had reviewed reports of rare cases of blood clots with low platelets following vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (including Covishield) since their onset a few weeks ago.

The W.H.O vowed to monitor the rollout of all COVID-19 vaccines carefully and will continue to work closely with countries to manage potential risks and use science and data to drive response and recommendations.