All the hopes of returning home have faded due to lack of health services in Bandame of Tore Area in Yei River County, South Sudan. Political violence and insecurity forced the resident to flee deep into the bush or crossed into neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2017. Restricted humanitarian access significantly hindered delivery of humanitarian services in the area making all the health centres nonoperational.
Before the RRF programme was launch, Tore Primary Health Care Centre was almost non-functional with only one nurse and the buildings already vandalized. The clinic was operating below capacity because all the nurses and doctors fled due to insecurity.
An Interagency IRNA mission to Tore, in June/July 2019 revealed a dire health situation characterized by; zero EPI coverage at the time of the assessment, high rates of malaria 47%, diarrhea 29%, Acute Respiratory Infections 33%, cases of injuries 2%, as people were being displaced from one place to another, pregnancy related complications 3%, due to lack of ANC services in Tore and deliveries being conducted by untrained birth attendants, limited facility staff, lack of basic equipment, limited WASH in Health facility services, lack of family planning, HIV 3% (suspected), and TB cases 1% (symptomatic).
The hopes of returning home were renewed when The Rescue Initiative South Sudan with funding from IOM Rapid Response Fund launched provision of emergency health services in the area where mobile health outreach team bring health services closer to the people. With such services, the civilians who fled their homes are slowly returning home.
Each week The Rescue Initiative staff travel to the remote village bringing health services to communities who could otherwise have no access due to long distance they have to cover to reach to the available health facilities.
Jackline lives in Bandame village said “my daughter’s body temperature was so high, and she was vomiting. I was going to take my daughter to Goli primary health care unit which is 12 miles, it is too far but am happy that we have the mobile outreach team here today. They have saved my time of walking 12 miles to get treatment for my daughter.”
Jackline told us, before the launch of the emergency mobile health camp, they never had health services in more than two years. “Since the conflict broke out in our area in 2016, we ran to the bush with no access to health services now we have it near us. We are happy that we have it near us and we hope it continuous.”
Silvano Danga the chief of Bandame area said, “the biggest challenge we face here is lack of medicine for our children, we used to have nurses here, but they have fled due to the conflict. But since the beginning of the emergency health services here people have started to return back to their homes.”
“You can even see the by yourself people are clearing and erecting new structures.” Mr. Silvano told us while pointing to a new shelter built out of Tarpaulin few meters away from the health unit.
The Rescue emergency health services in Tore Payam are funded by International Organization for Migration (IOM) Rapid Response Fund.