South Sudan: MSF Assists Patients Wounded in Aerial Bombardment in Unity State

MSF is treating patients wounded in the April 10 aerial bombardments of Abiemnom in South Sudan's Unity State.

South Sudan 2011 © Corentin Fohlen

Internally displaced refugees who fled the fighting in the Abyei region carry relief items distributed by MSF.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is treating patients wounded on April 10 during aerial bombardments of Abiemnom in South Sudan's Unity State. Violence has rocked the region over the past few weeks and the situation remains extremely volatile.

MSF’s hospital in Agok, 36 kilometers (about 22 miles) east of Abiemnom, received four wounded patients on the afternoon of April 10—a woman and three children—all of whom had severe open wounds requiring multiple surgeries. All four have now been stabilized. The MSF team in Agok has also donated drugs and equipment to the Ministry of Health’s medical center in Abiemnom to support the treatment of an additional 40 wounded patients there.

“In this region the population is on the frontline,” says Emmanuel Roussier, MSF’s head of mission in Juba. “Emergencies are unfolding one after another. Our teams are doing their best to respond to people’s most urgent needs—whether for food, shelter, or health care. Our constant concern is to provide comprehensive secondary health care and life saving activities to all the communities in the region.”

Since previous clashes in the Abyei region in May 2011, MSF has been running mobile clinics throughout the area, including in Machbong, Abathok, Mading Achueng, Akack Nyel, Leu, Marial Achak, Mabok, Rumamer, and Abiemnom, reaching approximately 100,000 people. MSF teams are monitoring the humanitarian situation, particularly among people affected by the violence, including those who have been displaced from their homes. All severely sick or wounded patients are referred to MSF’s hospital in Agok. 

The MSF staff in Agok is prepared to respond to a further influx of wounded if the fighting continues. They are also ready to scale up distribution of health care, shelter materials, and relief items for the affected population.

In November 2011, following an assessment of food security and nutrition in the area, MSF began providing supplementary food for all children under five years old, reaching up to 15,000 children. It also conducted a mass measles vaccination campaign.

MSF has been working in the contested Abyei region since 2006. After violent clashes in 2008 forced thousands of people to flee south, MSF set up a hospital in Agok, on the border between Warrap State, South Sudan, and the contested Abyei Area. The hospital provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services, and has an operating theater for surgery, a maternity ward, a pediatric unit, a tuberculosis ward, and a therapeutic feeding center for malnourished children. In 2011, there were 31,187 outpatient consultations and 2,418 inpatients admitted to Agok hospital.