Southern Sudan was already an underdeveloped region in dire need of investment in essential services, including health care, when large numbers of people who had been living in the north of the country and elsewhere returned south to vote in a referendum for secession in January 2011. The South is now expected to become officially independent in July. But the situation for people in need of shelter, water, food, and medical care remains precarious. Among other critical health indicators, the maternal and child mortality rates in this region are some of the highest in the world.
Photographer Q. Sakamaki was in southern Sudan in January and said that the returnees told him they came back to vote in the referendum and due to fears that they may be the targets of violence if they stayed in the North.
All photos © Q. Sakamaki/Redux
MSF has been providing emergency medical-humanitarian assistance in Sudan since 1979. Currently, MSF runs 13 projects across seven states of southern Sudan, providing a range of services, including primary and secondary health care, responding to emergencies as they arise, nutritional support, reproductive health care, kala azar treatment, counseling services, surgery, pediatric and obstetric care.