Minister of Health Toured Aweil to Access the COVID-19 situation.

The national minister of health arrived in Aweil for a two-day visit to assess the health condition and  COVID-19 center.

She was received by the Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal  Hon. Tong Akeen Ngor with her delegation on Thursday.

In an exclusive interview with Akol Yam FM, Minister Elizabeth Achuei Yol said her mission is to assess health facilities and listen to medical workers’ conditions.

Aweil has one COVID-19 center known as Light House. It was established as an isolation center to keep coronavirus patients.

Achuei said  that the data she will collect would be used to improve health conditions.

“I came here to assess what I will manage to support the local communities in terms of health. I have already seen that there are few health officials. There is a lack of drugs. I want to add that women don’t lie if I accept to work on one thing, then I will ensure. If I see that there is nothing of my capacity, then I will not promise. Minister Achuei said.

She said that she alone can’t do anything without support from the top leadership to improved health situation in the country.

I am a minister, I have my bosses, and if they are not willing to support the plan, then it cannot happen,” said Achuei.

 Adding that this is  why many top officials may be seen as liars when they make promises which they don’t keep.

She also said that her ministry proposed wages increase for the health workers in the upcoming budget submitted to the cabinets for approval.

Some health officials in NBG state expressed concern about the shortage of medical workers at their facilities.

John Agany Deng is the director at the state ministry of health.

He said that they have challenges ranging from  low payment and irregular drugs supplies to health facilities in the state.

He also said they do not have mean of transport to  visited remotes health facilities in the state.

Adding that even the frontline health workers haven’t been paid any incentives in the fight against coronavirus.

Agany said that he hope that the minister of health will address some of their concerns which she has seen  here.

Other health workers spoke about prioritizing service delivery to the people.

Northern Bahr el Ghazal recorded 11 positive cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic begins and all are discharged.

Warrap: 21 wounded patients lack medication in Romic

Health authorities in Warrap State’s Romic County have reported that at least 21 patients wounded during the communal violence in Tonj East have stranded without prescription.

The hospital said it run out of drugs to treat the patients and all road cutoff to get more supply.

It calls for the government quick intervention to save the lives of those patients.

Patients wounded during the communal clashes in Luangjang, Thiik and Akok find it difficult to recover as the hospital reported a lack of drugs to treat them. Some of the patients have  broken injuries which requires proper treatment. 

The director of hospital in Romic County Mr Manyang Makuc Machiek said the facility do not have anti-biotic to help the patients.

Makuc stated that some patients had left the hospital to seek the traditional medication, which could not be advisable but no option.

“In Romic here have no possibility for them to go to Tonj South, Wau, or elsewhere because the road is impassable. Even Marial Lou is not accessible because it is in the route where the conflict erupted. So, it is a terrible situation,” He said.

Some patients spokes to Mayardit FM. They said the hospital advised them to buy drugs from a private clinic, but all were looted during the fighting.

They call on  the government to urgent intervention to safe lives that are  at risk.

There are no drugs in the hospital, which has forced some of the patients to go home and follow the traditional treatment. So, we are suffering because the entire market was looted” 

The authority has promised that the International Committee Red Cross is making arrangements to supply drugs.

Warrap State Governor- Hon: Bona Panek Biar said  the patients with serious gunshots will be flown to Juba for further medication.

But he could not mention the timeline.

”We have talked to ICRC on how they are to airlifted the patients. And this is what we are following now. ICRC is the one to airlift them, and directly they are communicating with their head office in Juba. This is because they also fear their lives. They have found that people are killed in Tonj.” Panek said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross –ICRC has expressed concern about the situation of the wounded persons left without drugs. It said discussion underway with the authority to rescue the patients.

Families of Raped Survivors in Kapoeta call for justice

Many of the family, whom their daughters were raped are calling on the local authorities in the Kapoeta to arrest perpetrators behind the alleged cases of raped recorded by the aid agency American Refugee Council (ARC) in Kapoeta.

An ARC caseworker for the agency said they have documented 23 cases of rape this year alone and no action has been taken to those allege to have committed these crimes.

Among the 23 cases 10 were girls age ranging from 7 to 12 years old and 13 women, the youngest was 27 and oldest was at her 50s.

The survivor’s families blamed the authorities in Kapoeta for giving free card to those committing crimes within the community.

They accused the county local police in Kapoeta of being complicit in releasing many of the suspects without trail or investigate the alleged crimes. An accusation the police has denied.

Some of the families who spoke to Singaita FM explained the ordeal psychological trauma their daughters have gone through in the hands of rapists and no action taken to punish the perpetrators.

Natara Maria Lokwa is a mother to one of the survivors. She explained how the suspect who raped her daughter disappeared the same day they saw him at the police station.

She called local police to bring the accused suspect immediately in order to face justice for crimes he committed against her daughters and many other families who are feeling the same.

“I have told the government that I am bitter for not letting the perpetrator stay in the police custody”. Said Lokwa. She said the suspects do get out from the police custody before they appear in court for the allege crimes.

A mother residing at Locheler residential in Kapoeta whom her daughter was raped last week called upon the government to arrest the perpetrator.

She said her daughter was attacked by the rapist in the garden and they reported the incident to the police and no arrest has been made to apprehend the suspect.

The deputy police commissioner Brigadier Abdallah Kiri in Kapoeta says his department only arrest the suspects and it’s upon the court to decide on the verdict.

He said that most of the cases were not followed by the families of the rape victims, and the police could not proceed with case because the plaintiff failed to pursue the case in court.

Police have done his part and need the owner to be present in front of the court. So, to explain how the incident happens, the police were not there where the incident happens”. Said Brigadier Kiri.

The director-general in the ministry of gender and social welfare Thomas Nawi said that the partners NGOs are not sharing data to reported  the cases of rape to their office.

“They don’t link more such kind of cases to the ministry of gender and humanitarian affair we always request them to bring the case”. Said Nawi.

Nawi said that they should be the one to coordinate with police so that those who commit the crimes must be brought to the book.

He urged general public and partners aid agencies dealing on the issues of Gender Based Violence to coordinate the cases of rape in the communities with  ministry.

Abyei hospital blamed for admitting two patients in a single bed

The Abyei Hospital patients blamed the unfolding policy permitting two to three patients to sleep on a single bed.

The hospital admission ward has only eight beds. One bed-stead is allotted to more than two patients during their treatment.

Lack of enough beds in the hospital has caused anxiety because it is against health policy that clearly states that only one person is to receive medication in a bed.

Some patients received their medication on the floor exposing them to a mosquito bite, hence Malaria infection.

Mrs. Aluel, a mother of a one-year-old child, admitted to the hospital expressed her worries when she was asked to share one bed with another patient. “Another woman with her baby and I were put in one bed. It had one mosquito net that we shared.

“This is unfair, to share a bed with someone you don’t know, and both of you are sick! Insufficient space will endanger our lives. We fear contracting other diseases like COVID-19 and skin diseases”. 

Nyankiir Mijok, one of the patients who brought her sick two years old child said her and other caretakers lie down on the floor just without mattresses nor mosquito net.

I have never seen such a situation in my life ever. It is only God to protect us. We always hear of ways people contracted Coronavirus,  by coming closer to one another” Said Mijok.

Now, where is the protection here? I asked doctors here, and they did not answer me. The only person told me that it is a condition that forces them.’’ Nyankiir lamented.

This move was a result of an increasing number of patients according to the hospital officials.

The Director of Abyei Hospital, Mr. Tito Dau, acknowledged the situation citing an unexpected increase in the number of patients seeking treatment at the center. He claimed that more than twenty patients were being admitted with Malaria cases almost daily.

The hospital admitted that there is “no other way to admit the patients than sharing beds.”

“The concern has been shared with health partners to increase the number of beds. It is true, patients shared beds. It is because the number of patients admitted per day is bigger compared to the number of beds in the wards. We admitted more than twenty per day. This number is big. And the majority of them suffered from malaria. I have already informed the administration and health partners about this. And so, the best way is to protect them from a mosquito bite to prevent malaria infection”.

Health doctors empathized that parents should take care of themselves and their children against mosquitoes during these rainy seasons by ridding their surroundings of tall grass where mosquitoes live.

South Sudan experienced shortages of medical facilities and skilled health personnel with a limited supply of medicine. According to the Ministry of Health, South Sudan has about 120 medical doctors and just over 100 registered nurses for an estimated population of nearly nine million people.

Three Tons of Medical Supplies Arrive Aweil

Northern Bahr el Ghazal state received first consignment of 3 ton medical supplies. The drugs arrived in Aweil this week from neighboring Sudan.  Officials said the supplies will help reduce the shortage of medicines in the state.

The Secretary General of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Dominic Kang Deng said the imported drugs will not be free of charge. Adding that the drugs will be sold at low cost in the public pharmacies.  He did not specified how much they will be sold to the public.

Kang said “the plane is carrying different drugs for the diseases that are affecting people in Northern Bahr el Ghazal. And this is the first phase and the second phase will also come after this drugs and we want people of Aweil to work with government and these drugs are meant to reduce the prices of drugs at the markets”.

He urges the community to visit the main hospital and get cheaper medicines.

Akol Yam FM in spoke to some of the residents in Aweil.  Which show a conflicting views between the authority and civilians. Some of the residents in Aweil thoughts the drugs will be free of charge. They applauded the availability of medical supplies.

Mr. Zachariah Garang Lual is a resident in Aweil. He said drug imported will help a patient who are unable to pay for medication. He appealed to the authority to dispense drugs to five Counties for easy accessibility.

“We love it and we want Governor Tong to monitor these drugs and distribute to all five counties of Northern Bhar El Ghazal State and assured people not to sell them away because so many people take things as their things and it is not good,” Garang said.

Another resident, Francis Muonydeng Garang excited with the initiative. Urge the governor to continue doing more good things for the people.

“I have really appreciated the Government of Sudan for supporting us with drugs and I want people of Aweil to work together with new leadership because the governor has started and he is going to do great things to our people in the State please put your hand together for development”

The Director of Aweil’s Civil hospital, Dr. Reech Mathok Ding said that the drugs will help the patients during the malaria season. And people could afford to buy at a cheaper price because they have been subsidized by the government.

“When the governor of Northern Bhar El Ghazal State was in Sudan he called me to give him a list of drugs that needed most in Aweil so that he can bring drugs from Sudan and I have listed them and send it to him while in Khartoum so he bought the drugs such as malaria, diabetes, and others and we have received them today,” Mathok stated.

This is the first for the State to get direct supply from neighboring Sudan.

Patients to Pay for Tests at Mother Teresa Hospital

A church supported hospital has introduced new testing fees for outpatients to pay before accessing medical service. The move did not welcome by the community, and they asked the government to intervene.

Mother Teresa hospital said patients would now pay 500 Pound for tests of typhoid and brucellosis. The malaria test goes for 100 Pound according to the official.

The hospital is located in Turalei area of Warrap state. It has been offering free services to local people for more than ten years. But the new changes make communities worrying this time.

They say local people could not afford the cost and urge the government to address their concerns.

“This is the surprising thing because five hundred pounds is too much in this tough time in which seeking food is the major thing,” Akur Deng Dut, a resident in Turalei Payam, has said.

Another resident in Turalei Mr. Nyuol Mangok questioned why there was no 

“They should explain why, and this decision should have been made public before implementation. Before, patients have been getting treatment here for free. We have only been paying the registration fee of 50 pounds, but now five hundred is a lot” The only thing we suppose to pay attention to is going outside and buy drugs that are not in the hospital and not paying for the test. So what is the difference between public and private clinics.”Mam Deng Nyuol said.

The hospital argues that its decision came after funds for free medication cut off, and the new fees will help recover the cost.

Ajongo Majok Ajong is a doctor at Mother Teresa hospital. He said patients would only pay testing fees for three diseases includes malaria, brucellosis, and typhoid.

He said the doctor would not attend to the patient without payment being made.

I want to say is that it is good for those visiting the hospital to carry little money even if you don’t know that something is going to be needed. You can have something so that you could be able to pay if charges ask from you”, Majok said.

The County health department distance itself from the move said not aware of the new changes hospital applied. 

Health Coordinator of Twic County, Barac Achuil Rual mentioned that hospitals in Twic County under government deliver free health services.

Public hospitals in Twic are free. We have a health part that provides free healthcare services. If this is happening now, investigate vestigates why the Mother Teresa hospital is doing this.” He stated

Mayardit FM also spoke to hospital administrator Martin Maker Gor. He said the payment is a cost-sharing to meet the gape. And the HPF phase three does not cover all the hospital expenses.

“We did not want to tell our patients to go and do test outside and come back; instead of that, we ask the cost-sharing sharing. Outside test cost 1000 pounds and here cost less, and we give free treatment,” Martin said.

The hospital has been treated over 100 people daily. It’s not clear what the number would be after fees imposed on patients.

Leer’s residents warned of COVID-19 health risk

Some residents in Leer attended Covid-19 training.

The Humanitarians organization in the Southern part of Unity State have warned people for violating of COVID-19 health prevention measures. 

A National NGO said it trained community health workers to create awareness. The Universal Intervention and Development Organization- UNIDOR, a humanitarian agency operating in Leer, said ignorance of health preventive measures in remote areas has worried them.

This week the national ministry of health has confirmed 45 people have died dead of coronavirus, 2,200 have been affected, and nearly 1,200 recovered.

 NGO that is working in the Southern part of Unity State expressed grave concerns over violation of social distancing that will risk live of many innocent people in the remote villages. Organizations warned the state’s residents during the training of 42 community health promoters. The health workers trained were drawn from Dhornor and Payak payams in Leer County. 

Helen Madardo is the coordinator for UNIDOR. She said that “the training of health workers in Bomas and Payams will help deliver good messages about the pandemic to the communities.

Helen explained that the violation of social distancing includes local authority in the area. He said most of the people in Leer used to gather in the church. She stressed what I have seen is beyond, because youth are still dancing at night. 

One of the trainee Madeng Jany Diu appealed to county residents to take prevention measures seriously. He said coronavirus is “real”. 

Jany acknowledged that capacity building about the COVID-19 is vital to help them during public awareness about the virus.

 More importantly, wash your hands all the time per day. Secondly, stay at home during the coronavirus, which was affecting people. And we must avoid social gathering”, he advised. 

Community health workers promised to sensitize the community and tell them to stop mass gathering during this coronavirus period.

“So we shall use different ways to tell those messages to them although they might not listen to us as a youth, we will use different methods to convince them so that they can stop public gathering.

In Unity State, six confirmed cases of COVID-19 recorded last month, mostly at UN Protection of Civilians -POC were many IDPs sheltered. 

Coronavirus has killed millions of people globally and caused more severe effects on economic gross to many Countries.