The maternity wing of International Medical Corps’ hospital in the Protection of Civilian (PoC) site in Juba, South Sudan, was hit by shelling today amidst escalating violence that is endangering the lives of thousands of people who fled into the camp for safety. No staff or patients were injured, but the attack forced International Medical Corps’ team to relocate critical patients to another facility inside the UN base.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of heavy weapons near the UN’s protection of civilian sites and particularly the shelling that hit our maternity ward today,” said Dr. Teshome Adebabai, International Medical Corps’ Medical Director in Juba. “People fled into the PoC seeking protection from violence and instead find themselves in the crossfire. We call on all parties to stop the violence, respect the rights of civilians, and allow humanitarian organizations to provide life-saving care to those in need.”
Since the renewed fighting erupted on July 8 and despite immense challenges in providing care, the International Medical Corps team in the PoC has treated 139 injured patients. The hospital has operated without water for three days and is running out of fuel, which will leave it without electricity or an ambulance. The violence has also made it impossible for humanitarian organizations to move throughout the city, leaving the hospital with a reduced number of staff and dwindling medical supplies and medicines.
International Medical Corps’ health care facility in the PoC site in Juba provides emergency, maternity, in-patient, surgical, and primary health care services to the more than 50,000 people seeking refuge in the camp. The facility, which is the only secondary level health facility in the camp, has provided more than 33,000 medical consultations in 2016 to date.
In addition to the Juba PoC, International Medical Corps is providing health care services for the 19,000 people sheltering inside the PoC in Wau following the recent fighting that displaced some 75,000 people. This past week, International Medical Corps has seen more than 2,000 patients and delivered 20 babies in the Wau PoC site.
International Medical Corps provides life-saving medical care and other humanitarian aid in seven states across South Sudan. In total, International Medical Corps has seen nearly 365,000 people, more than 60 percent children under the age of five, at its 77 health faculties in South Sudan in 2016 to date.
Since December 2013, more than 2.3 million people have been forced from their homes as a result of South Sudan’s civil war. The most recent outbreak of fighting, which began on July 8, comes after a peace agreement was signed.