International Medical Corps Scales up Emergency Relief in South Sudan Amid Escalation in Violence
February 7, 2014 - Los Angeles, Calif. – Amid ongoing violence in South Sudan, International Medical Corps teams are conducting nutrition assessments and delivering emergency medical and primary health care to communities that previously were cut off from help by the fighting. Approximately 743,000 people have been displaced by the violence across South Sudan.
Despite the highly unstable security situation, International Medical Corps is working in Juba, Maban, Awerial and Malakal, where tens of thousands of people are seeking refuge. Across Awerial County nearly 100,000 people have sought safety, having been forced from their homes by fierce fighting across the Nile in the town of Bor. While large concentrations of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the town of Minkamon are increasingly well-served by UN and other humanitarian groups, International Medical Corps has focused on smaller isolated communities that have so far received little or no help. Mobile medical clinics, providing basic primary health care, maternal health and nutrition screenings are reaching IDPs living in makeshift camps around the villages of Yelako, Kalthok and Wun Tua.
At least 30,000 IDPs are seeking refuge at a UN base and in the grounds of churches in the town of Malakal. International Medical Corps has conducted assessments and nutrition screenings to identify the most urgent humanitarian needs and provided nearly 800 health consultations since January 10th. Health teams are reporting high levels of respiratory infections, urinary tract infections and acute diarrhea. They are monitoring the overall health situation and specifically the potential for outbreak of communicable diseases in overcrowded camps where poor water and sanitation conditions pose a high risk.
International Medical Corps trained ten community nutrition volunteers on conducting nutrition screenings at the UNMISS base in Malakal. The team carried out a rapid assessment of nearly 600 children under 5 finding that 20% were malnourished and 24% were at risk of malnutrition. International Medical Corps-trained health and nutrition promoters are delivering community outreach sessions to help address and prevent malnutrition.
International Medical Corps is collaborating with UNICEF to also begin providing comprehensive mental health and psychosocial support to survivors of trauma and gender-based violence and clinical case management in Malakal, Awerial, and Bor.
In Juba, International Medical Corps has conducted nearly 2,800 health consultations since January 6th at the UN House and Tomping camps. We are also working alongside WHO and UNICEF to vaccinate children under five and supporting the Ministry of Health in mass vaccination campaigns in UN House camp.
Rapid assessment teams, including doctors and logisticians have conducted assessments in Benitu, Bor and Malakal and began medical consultations and nutrition screenings in Bor and Malakal upon arrival.
International Medical Corps has been delivering humanitarian assistance in southern Sudan for 20 years and supporting communities across South Sudan since independence in 2011.
About International Medical Corps
Since its inception 30 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services and sustainable development projects that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning hardest-hit populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.