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South Sudan: New surgical team at work in Jonglei

25-04-2013 News Release 13/76

Geneva/Juba (ICRC) – A new surgical team is at work at Bor Hospital in Jonglei, South Sudan, expanding the care available for wounded or sick people. Poor medical infrastructure and lack of access to health care, particularly surgery, continue to be issues of concern in the country.

"The shortage of health-care facilities, together with the frequent violence in some parts of the country – Jonglei state for instance – are having an impact on the people of South Sudan. Therefore, we are temporarily strengthening our surgical capacities," said Melker Mabeck, the head of the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in South Sudan.

This is the third surgical team currently active in the country. The others are already at work in Malakal, Upper Nile state, and elsewhere in the field. The ICRC remains very concerned about the situation in Jonglei state. "We need to be prepared to deal with emergencies. Over the last two years, armed violence there and in other parts of the country has been recurrent," said Mr Mabeck.

The new surgical team, which is on secondment from the Canadian Red Cross, consists of a team leader, a surgeon, an anaesthetist, operating theatre ward nurses and technicians. "We are providing much-needed medical expertise, and we are ready to meet emergency medical needs. Our field hospital can be operational in a matter of hours," said Karine Farrell, the Canadian team leader.

The team is currently providing post-operative care for weapon-wounded patients who were recently operated on at Bor Hospital. It is also providing valuable technical support and on-the-job training to prepare hospital staff for future emergencies.

The Canadian Red Cross has also made medicines, medical supplies, operating theatre equipment, shelter equipment and beds available to the ICRC. These items, some of which have been sent on to Bor, will stay in the country and will be used wherever emergencies arise.

Since the beginning of the year, over a hundred weapon-wounded and more than 250 other surgical patients have been operated on or given treatment by ICRC surgical teams in South Sudan.

For further information, please contact:
Helen Lawrence, ICRC Juba, tel: +211 957 151 890
Jean-Yves Clémenzo, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17