MA World Health’s mission is to build healthier communities by collaborating with key partners to serve vulnerable people. Right now, some of the most vulnerable people in the world are in South Sudan, so that’s where we are.
In the midst of looming famine conditions, IMA and our partners work to ensure that young children and new mothers who have been forced from their homes—by ongoing violence, extreme weather and insecurity—have access to nutrition.
Thanks to donations from individuals and organizations, including All We Can, Episcopal Relief & Development and Lutheran World Relief, IMA has been able to work toward improving these services and overcoming the challenges to providing care in the world’s newest nation.
One improvement in the works is providing a prefabricated unit so women and children will have a dry, lighted ward to stay in while being treated for malnutrition. Staff members from IMA partner John Dau Foundation have been operating out of tents while screening and treating children younger than 5 and new mothers for malnutrition in Pajut in Duk County, where rates of malnutrition are high. But tents will not hold up well during the rainy season.
IMA quickly selected a vendor to provide timber, solar equipment, iron sheets and other materials required for the structure. The next step, delivering the materials, has turned out to be the hardest.
The Juba-Bor road, the only overland route to reach Duk County, is closed as a result of insecurity in the region. Also, the rainy season started and will prohibit travel to Pajut until late November.
But we are not daunted.
Thanks to additional funding by donors, IMA has scheduled four charter flights to transport the prefab and all other necessary materials by air. The weather has caused some delays, but materials are expected to reach Duk County before the end of July.
In the meantime, JDF staff members are preparing the site and mobilizing local materials needed for the prefab, fencing and latrines. The team will begin construction of the fence and latrines as soon as materials arrive.
IMA makes every efforts to ensure that the most vulnerable in South Sudan receive the quality care they deserve as soon as possible. To ensure that we continue to be able to meet those needs, support from donors is needed as much as ever.
It is IMA’s mission to build healthier communities by collaborating with key partners to serve vulnerable people. And that’s what we’ll continue to do in South Sudan, despite the challenges in these difficult times.