Staying in MSF's coordination office in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, means that you get to see the different field projects here. In March I went on my second field trip to Yida refugee camp.
The camp is one big village with 60-70,000 Sudanese people. It has been there for a few years now. MSF had a big outreach team to cover the camp and make sure sick people knew that they could get medical care at the hospital. However, since the camp is now stable, with most people there now aware of the hospital, the outreach part of MSF's work there was closing down when I visited.
They were reorganizing the team to ensure a good, stable set-up. Working in a refugee camp has different cycles, depending on how new the camp is, so different measurements have to be taken.
Measles vaccination campaign in Yida, January 2015 © Karin Ekholm/MSF
As well as the reorganization of the outreach team, we had the Mini Field Association Debate (FAD). Last time I talked about why MSF has the FADs, and the Mini-FAD was so interesting.
In Yida the event was a collaboration between the local and international staff about how to present topics and debates. A lot of people were interested in the debate, and half of the staff participated in the event - about 70 people. 10 people presented their views on the two topics and everybody had the chance to ask questions. And a lot of interesting questions were asked on the two topics:
How can we balance our responsibility to react to new medical humanitarian crises by handing over programmes and minimizing the negative impact of our departure. Discussion around:
- Level of collaborations
- New modality of operations
- Training of staff
- Differences in state of development
- How to plan exits/handovers
Should MSF engage in the management of chronic (communicable and non-communicable) diseases in unstable or conflict affected contexts. Discussion around:
- Hep B and C
The Mini-FAD in action
Working in South Sudan, you have some difficulties. For example, UNHAS (United Nations Humanitarian Air Service) is arranging most flights and the bookings need to be done some time in advance. Also, since a lot of the people in Yida are refugees, they do not have South Sudanese ID cards…
All of this, together with a tight FAD schedule, unfortunately ended up with no participation of our Yida teams in the Juba FAD. However, we were all pleased with the good outcome of the Mini-FAD and it is so nice to see how the spirit of MSF is alive in new staff; how they like to debate all these topics and how well they prepared for this.