South Sudan: In Old Fangak, impact of floods on

In Old Fangak County in South Sudan, dramatic floods since 2020 have displaced thousands of residents who have lost their vital resources. Without herds, without fields to cultivate, cases of infantile malnutrition increase. Testimonies from caregivers and patients were met at the hospital, which is managed by MSF.

From our special correspondent at Old Fangak,

Nyachoat Billiew is sitting on an iron bed at Old Fangak Hospital, breastfeeding his eight-month-old twins. One of them is suffering from severe malnutrition, as are several other children who are hospitalized here. ” When I gave birth to these children, the floods had already destroyed our village. I’m the only one struggling to raise them. I get tired of looking for water lilies in the river, she says.

This mother’s cows are dead, and even if family members share the fish they catch, it’s not enough. A boat from Médecins Sans Frontières took her here with her children. Without this help, she would not have been able to get to the hospital.

► Read also: South Sudan: Old Fangak, a refuge in the heart of a region devastated by floods

Peter Sunduk has been a care provider in Gamla Fangak since the 1990s. He is concerned about the dramatic consequences of the floods for access to care in remote areas. “We have a vaccination program outside. When the children were in the cattle camps, it was easy to find them and vaccinate them, says Peter Sunduk. “But there is a total stop for this health care. There is no one left in the cattle camps. No more villages on the river bank. So the children were not immunized, the caregiver explains.

Risk of treatment interruption for patients The clinic that treats patients with HIV has also noted a decrease in attendance. This means that some patients no longer take their treatment. Jal Gatkek Ruach, a caregiver, regrets that he lost control of some patients. “Since the area was flooded in 2020, many people have left,” he says. “Some came to tell us and we gave them a transfer letter so that they could continue to have access to HIV treatment wherever they went. But others had to flee the floods overnight to seek protection where they could. They did not come back here, he said.

To avoid interruption of treatment in the event of further flooding, patients are now given three months of treatment.

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