South Sudan: MSF suspends most medical activities in Maban area after attack

A clinic staff member leaves the MSF hospital in Doro refugee camp.
SOUTH SUDAN 2018 © Sarah Murphy/MSF
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JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN/NEW YORK, JULY 24, 2018—The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) suspended most of its activities in Maban, South Sudan, after a violent attack yesterday. 

Yesterday morning, a group of unidentified armed men broke into the MSF office and compound in Maban, looting the organization’s and staff’s property, burning down a tent full of equipment and destroying most of the vehicles and communication devices. No MSF staff were physically injured during the attack. The team is now safe and the organization is currently monitoring the situation. 

The attack forced MSF to suspend most of its medical activities in the local communities and with the refugee population in the Maban area. These include running a hospital in Doro refugee camp and providing primary health care in Bunj State Hospital. 

“Despite the attack on our facilities, our team on the ground will keep ensuring lifesaving treatment to patients suffering from the most critical medical conditions,” said Samuel Theodore, MSF head of mission in South Sudan. “However, as the safety of health care personnel and facilities cannot be guaranteed, we have no other choice but to suspend the rest of our activities, which will leave 88,000 people with limited access to much needed medical services.” 

MSF condemns this brutal attack and calls for respect and protection of humanitarian workers and health facilities. 

MSF has been working in Maban since 2011, providing health care to host communities and refugee populations in Doro refugee camp and, in collaboration with local authorities, inside Bunj State Hospital. From January to June this year, the organization carried out 84,869 outpatient consultations, performed 1,317 deliveries and treated 4,971 patients for malaria and 905 children for malnutrition.