Akurwai and Aderi did offer much better circumstances.
Humanitarian organizations assessed the situation and began planning a joint mission. There would be health services, nutritional supplements, tools for agriculture and a focus on water, sanitation and hygiene as well as addressing gender-based violence. The World Health Organization would provide interagency emergency health kits, UNICEF would be responsible for nutrition supplements, WASH materials and RH/EPI kits. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations would be responsible for tools. The logistics cluster would organize transportation to bring the supplies.
But the rainy season provided a huge hurdle and supplies weren’t available. The mission was canceled, but “IMA opted to go ahead and set up the clinic and provide the much-needed health services using the resources that we had available,” Duncan said.
With materials staged in Aburoc, IMA was able to load a trailer with medical needs. The tractor was used with the plan to begin medical services as soon as the team arrived in the region with the mobile clinic to follow.
And the supply preparations and past experience moving during the rainy season paid off.
The clinical officers and nurses, with the help of leaders in the community, set up and immediately began treating communicable diseases, including malaria, acute respiratory infections and diarrhea, all things usually associated with displaced people living in crowded areas with inadequate water and poor sanitation and access to health care.
Since then, IMA has set up the mobile clinic. Ochol said the organization’s experience in South Sudan is the key.
IMA oversees multiple clinics, each made up of four tents for consultations, antenatal care and delivery, pharmacy/dispensing and a nursing station for procedures such as injections and immunization services. The mobile clinics are also equipped with basic amenities for waste disposal, clean water and security. From September 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, clinic staff conducted a total of 43,587 outpatient consultations, diagnosing and treating thousands of cases of malaria, acute respiratory infection and diarrhea. Clinic health workers also conduct screenings for malnutrition and community health education on topics like water and sanitation, the use of bed nets and the importance of immunizations.
“We are used to working in an ever-changing environment where vulnerable populations constantly relocate because of insecurity and seasonal flooding,” he said. “With funding from the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, we can provide emergency and primary health care services to these populations wherever they go.”