Malakal, May 18, 2018 (SSNA) — Médecins Sans Frontières /Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is today officially opening its new hospital in Malakal town to replace a temporary field structure the organisation had been using until now. The new hospital increases the quality of health care MSF provides to all the population in the nothern part of the Greater Upper Nile region, in conjunction with its twin hospital in the nearby Protection of Civilians (POC) site and health services in peripheral areas.
In February 2016, following the displacement of thousands of people from the Malakal Protection of Civilians (POC) site to the town, MSF responded to the needs of the affected population with primary and secondary healthcare installed in a temporary field hospital.
Last year, MSF decided to strengthen the quality of the medical services provided to the population of Malakal, by renovating the former pediatric structure in Malakal town. “The hospital was badly damaged because of fighting. It was later abandonned when the population fled the town. However, it remained a viable structure,” commented Jaume Rado, MSF Head of Misson for South Sudan.
“Working from a temporary tented field hospital was only planned as a short-term arrangement, to answer the urgent medical needs of the displaced people at the time. MSF has been looking for a sustainable solution, and with the opening of the new MSF hospital for adults and children, the organisation is now ensuring high quality care for all the population directly affected by the on-going conflict in the area”.
The new 40-bed hospital, with potential additional capacity, provides services including paediatric and maternal care, emergency healthcare, vaccination activities, specialized treatment for mental health as well as life-saving treatments for neglected diseases such as HIV, TB and Kala Azar.
In addition, the hospital aims at reinforcing the referral system from the periphery area to the new structure and to other secondary health facilities.
“Healthcare in the area has been severely affected by the conflict over the past years, with medical structures forced to close and local communities being cut off from much needed assistance”, says Denis Oyori, Project Coordinator in Malakal.
“With this new hospital, the one we are running inside Malakal POC and the services we are providing in the periphery area, MSF is reinforcing its commitment toward the population of the northern part of the Greater Upper Nile region”.
Over 2017, in Malakal and peripheral areas, MSF provided 51,632 outpatient consultations, treated 709 people for malaria, 3,199 for malnutrition, and provided healthcare to 3,434 hospitalized people, among them were 9,491 children under the age of five.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has worked in South Sudan since 1983, bringing much-needed medical care in many parts of the country where access to healthcare and other humanitarian services remain limited. Drawing on its values of independence, neutrality, and impartiality, MSF is able to respond quickly to medical emergencies, delivering medical assistance based on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. MSF currently operates 16 projects throughout South Sudan.