"I am loving being in the wards, getting to know individual patients and becoming familiar with the most common conditions – malaria, kala azar, brucellosis, typhoid fever and tuberculosis."
"I frequently look for ways to get out from behind my desk and see the work we do. This past Sunday MSF had a blood drive in Aweil. I volunteered to go along and help. No, I was not putting needles in people's arms..."
'When I told people that I was headed overseas with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) I would sometimes get a quizzical look, and the comment: “I know your wife is a pediatric nurse, I didn’t know you were a doctor?”'
As an MSF staffer, just arrived in Aweil on my first assignment with MSF, the immediate question comes in from those I left behind in New York City: “What’s it like?”
"I'm really happy about stories like this one: we had a boy with meningitis come into the hospital. After I saw him I really thought he wouldn't make it. The next day I came to see him and I couldn't believe my eyes - he was sitting up in bed and wanted breakfast!"
Over 1.9 million South Sudanese people have been displaced from their homes since conflict broke out in December 2013. 1.4 million of these people remain within the country, while more than 470,000 are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
Of those internally displaced, over 100,000 people are living across the ten Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites inside UN bases across the country; others are in remote and hard-to-reach areas, often cut off from all basic services. Access to health care in these areas is a major concern as existing health facilities were either looted or destroyed, and staff fled for their lives.
Even before the current conflict, South Sudan had some of the lowest health indicators in the world. The conflict has devastated the country’s already fragile healthcare system and a lack of sufficient medical supplies is a serious issue in many health facilities.
During the conflict, MSF has had to relocate services to pre-existing facilities which have become overstretched. We have built tented hospitals, worked under temporary shelters and set up inflatable hospitals. With over 3,800 local and international staff working in the country, we have set up emergency projects to respond to the growing needs of people directly affected by the crisis.