MSF community health romoter, tests a child for malaria at an outdoor support clinic in Thaker, Leer County, South Sudan, March 18, 2017.
Three years after the beginning of the conflict, Leer and Mayendit counties are greatly affected by the ongoing violence and the longstanding clashes between governmental and opposition forces. Civilians are on the first line of the conflict and the ongoing violence has a very clear impact on the ability for the population to access basic and secondary medical care and other basic services. The population has been locally displaced multiple times; and many people had fled the area completely.
In July, following clashes in Leer County, the population again had to flee and MSF had to evacuate international teams from both Leer and Thonyor. In September MSF set up a decentralised basic healthcare programme to continue to reach the population and provide them with primary healthcare in their villages. Through a network of community health workers, community health promoters, and women health promoters, who live as part of the affected population, MSF teams have been able to continue to provide healthcare. These community health workers are trained in treating the most common morbidities, such as respiratory tract infections, malaria, water-borne diseases, etc. They stay with the community and are able to move with the communities if the population need to move, thus continuing to provide healthcare. MSF resupplies them with medical supplies and provides ongoing supervision and training through supporting international teams.