Southern Sudan: MSF Treats Patients with Bullet Wounds After Clashes

Following a series of cattle raids that started on June 27 near Lekwongole in Jonglei State, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treated five male patients between the ages of two and 30 for violent trauma wounds.

From its outreach post in Lekwongole, MSF transferred a four-year-old boy with head injuries and four patients with gunshot wounds (ages two, nine, 29, and 30) to its larger clinic in Pibor. There, the medical team stabilized the patients before evacuating those with gunshot wounds by plane for urgent surgery in  Boma.

“In Pibor and Lekwongole, people continue to fear violence," said Rob Mulder, MSF head of mission in Southern Sudan. "At the slightest sign of trouble, mothers panic, gather their children and belongings together and flee in every direction.

“For those in need of surgery, evacuation by air to hospital is their only hope. However, as the rains get heavier and landing strips turn to mud fields, this becomes increasingly difficult. Recent fighting also aggravates rising food insecurity in the current hunger gap, as commercial food truck drivers afraid of being ambushed stop travelling from Juba to Pibor market,”  he said.

Due to insecurity and heavy rains, MSF teams in Pibor are now unable to access their outreach medical posts in Gumuruk and Lekwongole. However, lifesaving activities continue in Pibor.

Apart from a small Ministry of Health facility in Pibor town, MSF is the only other primary healthcare provider in an area of 150,000 people, where villages are separated by large distances and roads are often impassable. This year, MSF has admitted 580 severely malnourished children to its ambulatory therapeutic feeding program in Pibor.

MSF has worked in Sudan since 1978 and today runs projects across several states, including Jonglei, Upper Nile, Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal, Central and Western Equatoria, North Darfur, Red Sea and Al Gedaref states, and in the transitional area of Abyei .