As part of my efforts to keep you informed about the ongoing refugee crisis in South Sudan, I’d like to invite you to join Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) emergency coordinator Tara Newell for a special online conversation about her recent work in South Sudan.
On Thurs., Aug. 2 at 1 p.m. (EDT) MSF presents a 30-minute webinar with Tara, an opportunity for you to hear her speak about the crisis, ask her questions about what’s being done to help, and talk to her about her MSF experiences.
Tara has been working with MSF since 2007, first as a logistician in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), then as a project and emergency coordinator in DRC, Central African Republic, Haiti and Ivory Coast. She returned to Canada in mid-July following 10 weeks in South Sudan, where she was responsible for coordinating MSF's response to the current emergency.
"People have fled terrible violence in Sudan and lost family members during their arduous journeys for safety," says Tara. "Now they are sitting exposed in refugee camps on a flood plain and dying from preventable diseases due to horrific living conditions.”
Click here to register for Tara’s webinar.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to share with you the latest updates we have on the emergency in South Sudan and MSF’s work to bring medical humanitarian aid to the thousands of refugees in this crisis.
Our field staff continues to bring critical medical aid, including water and sanitation, to many of the approximately 110,000 people living in the camps in Maban County in Upper Nile State. Water supply in Jamam camp has thankfully reached adequate levels, but stagnant water from recent floods is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and brings the danger of a malaria outbreak.
A new camp, Gendrassa, has been set up to provide space for those in overcrowded Jamam. Re-location has started, with an average of 500 people moving per day so far. MSF is monitoring the road from the border to Jamam camp in case another influx of refugees should occur.
There is a worrisome level of malnutrition among children in Batil and Doro camps. Staff are currently treating 50 children for malnutrition in the clinic in Batil and a further 1,000 children as outpatients in the camp. MSF is now responsible for all severe acute malnutrition treatment in Batil, and a massive scale-up in resources and activities is underway. MSF is running medical services in all four main camps, including three field hospitals in Jamam, Doro and Batil.
Yida camp in Unity State is a health catastrophe for the 55,000 refugees there. MSF is running the only hospital in Yida, providing more than 1,000 consultations per week and admitting an average of 100 patients per week. The hospital has doubled bed capacity in the past month, receiving many patients in critical condition. MSF outreach activities in the camp have been increased to more quickly provide medical care to people before they become critically ill.
Access to Yida is increasingly challenging due to rainfall and poor roads in Unity State. Supplies can only be brought in by plane, though at the time of our last update large cargo flights could not land due to the poor condition of the airstrip. The camp requires urgent scaling up in terms of infrastructure and provisions.
Please check out a special section of our website that we have created to keep you informed: Refugees in South Sudan.
Thank you for your continued support in bringing humanitarian aid to refugees in South Sudan and to people in crisis in the more than 60 countries around the world where MSF works.