You may be aware that the Liwolo Clinic was closed earlier in the year due to the situation of the time and that continues. Thankfully, all equipment and medicines were safely removed and put into storage.
The good news is that a new clinic is being opened in Majale which is on the border between Uganda and South Sudan – but in Uganda. Progress has been slow but permission to operate has now been granted and it’s hoped will be open soon.
Healthcare was not originally part of our work, however, on every visit the reality of the appalling lack of healthcare provision was unavoidable.
- Currently only 44% of the population have reasonable access to a health facility, within a day’s walk
- There is one doctor per 100,000 people with 83% of all primary healthcare delivered by NGOs (Non Government Organisation)
- One in seven women die because of a child birth related issue
- Healthcare has to be privately funded, there is no state provision and on average it costs the equivalent of two weeks wages to see a doctor and receive a course of antibiotics. As you can imagine most people just can’t afford this!
When Joseph, the Head of CRESS in South Sudan, came to us and asked us if we could help fund a small clinic in Liwolo, he made such an emotional appeal that we decided that we could no longer ignore this need. At first, we helped with the funding of medicines and expenses operating from a small hut and offering very basic care. People began travelling huge distances to access this medical care; some walking for three days.
The service we were offering was simply not enough and on the 22 September 2015 a new purpose built clinic was opened with much singing, dancing and celebration. The new clinic has consulting rooms, two small wards and delivery room (childbirth is still a significant risk to life in Sudan). In addition, we installed solar panels providing electricity so that lab work can be carried out on site, speeding up diagnosis and treatment. A bore hole is planned to provide a dedicated water supply, absolutely vital to the running of the clinic.
CRESS employs eight staff at the clinic including a qualified nurse, midwife, lab assistant and dispensing assistant. Although open and already making a huge difference to the community it still needs much basic equipment, including plumbing. The staff are well trained, motivated and professional but few in number with a community in excess of 40,000 to care for.
We would like to develop the land around the clinic into a productive kitchen garden, using the skills learnt in other CRESS projects, and then employ a cook so that the patients can be fed as part of their care. Normally the family would be responsible for feeding a patient, but given the travel times an on-site kitchen will improve outcomes.
The challenge is to continue funding this life saving facility we have created so that we might continue to provide basic high quality care at an affordable cost, wherever we are located. Believe it or not, just £20 per month will fund a salary at the clinic.
If you would like to help us provide and maintain basic health care to people in desperate need please make a donation.