It takes a whole team: working together in South Sudan

Riak is a supply logistician in South Sudan, a country which has been affected by civil war since 2013. In the town of Bentiu, the UN has established a Protection of Civilians camp for people who have fled the conflict. Riak lives in the camp, and works to ensure that the MSF hospital has the medicines, equipment and other resources needed to provide medical care to thousands of people. 

Riak and an MSF plane
My community in Bentiu always talks about MSF as their saviour, because they are the only healthcare provider for us here in the Protection of Civilians (PoC) camp. I want to explain in more detail why they feel this way and why MSF is so needed here. It is not just our independence, neutrality and medical activities. It takes a whole team of different people to deliver this aid.
There’s the outreach team who go out into the community, going from house to house in every block in the camp, looking for patients - malnourished children, people sick with malaria, pregnant women and the vulnerable. They refer anyone who is very sick to the MSF hospital. Sometimes, if a patient is not able to walk to the hospital on foot, they arrange a car to take them there.  


Then there are the technical logisticians who go above and beyond and do great work every day. They make sure that MSF staff are safe – monitoring the security situation and all our movements by car. They built the hospital we work in, make sure our radio operations - which we use to communicate with each other - are working efficiently, and carry out any repairs that are needed. We really appreciate the work that they do.
The queue for patients in the MSF hospital is always huge. People know that when they come to MSF, they will receive good treatment. Our medical staff are experienced and dedicated to their job. There is no delay or waiting at the gate to receive treatment. In an emergency, people are directed immediately to the Emergency Room (ER) for triage, where the patients with the most severe symptoms are treated first. 
The medical staff provide therapeutic feeding treatment for severely and moderately malnourished children. Teams also distribute food to outpatients, including people with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.  Because of all these activities, MSF is well perceived by my community.
MSF takes the lead. My community believes that they are the leading medical organisation in Bentiu. The community trusts MSF because of the good medical care we provide. One of the most important things we do is making sure that the community understand about MSF – what it is and why we are here. This work makes the community aware about MSF and about healthcare in general.
Riak at work with one of the MSF supply planesPhoto: MSF
The logistical activities run effectively and efficiently in our project because of the brilliant supply team. They facilitate a lot of the work in the project - getting drugs to the 24/7 pharmacy in the hospital, and coordinating the logistics like cars and planes. We have three planes per week and sometimes more when we need it. Our supplies don’t stop! We make sure we order more items to ensure there are no shortages of drugs in the hospital, and that there are enough for a buffer stock as well.
Our supply teams are busy all time and active to maintain the transparency of the supply operation.
The water and sanitation teams play a very great role in the project. Each day they wake up earlier than anyone else to make sure that there are enough water supplies for the hospital. Because of this, we never have a shortage of water in our hospital.  And they have built enough latrines and shower rooms for the hospital, which are used by patients and staff. They also carry out hygiene promotion in the camp – teaching the community about infection control to prevent diseases. When there are failures or shortages of water supply in areas of the camp, our team can rapidly fill the emergency gap for a short while.
Finally, there are all the MSF private and individual donors, who stand firm with us - supporting financially, in order for us to continue providing medical care to this population affected by conflict. All these activities make community believe in the work MSF does.
I wrote this blog to all of you, so that you know where your donations go and how they are used. Thank you so much.