International Medical Corps Scales up Emergency Relief in South Sudan Amid Escalation in Violence

by Robert George, International Medical Corps | International Medical Corps - USA
Thursday, 16 January 2014 19:13 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

January 16, 2014 - Los Angeles, Calif. – Amid ongoing violence in South Sudan, International Medical Corps teams are providing emergency medical care in and around the capital of Juba. Despite the highly unstable security situation, International Medical Corps is providing primary health care (PHC) services at the UN House camp for displaced families and establishing a surgical unit at a hospital in Juba.  Health teams are reporting high levels of respiratory infections, malaria and acute diarrhea in vulnerable communities displaced by the violence. 

Since December 15, approximately 413,000 people have been displaced by conflict in South Sudan, with 66,500 of them seeking refuge in UN compounds. International Medical Corps is closely monitoring the overall health situation and specifically the potential for outbreak of communicable diseases in overcrowded camps where poor water and sanitation conditions pose a high risk. Twenty suspected cases of measles have been reported in Tomping camp in Juba where staff are working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to explore intervention options. International Medical Corps has helped establish a PHC clinic in Tomping with services scheduled to begin this week.

International Medical Corps is delivering reproductive health services in the UN House and Tomping camps in Juba and assisted in the coordination of the evacuation of more than 100 patients to nearby hospitals. The organization is also working alongside WHO and UNICEF to vaccinate children under five and supporting the Ministry of Health in mass vaccination campaigns in UN House camp. In addition, International Medical Corps is collaborating with UNICEF to begin providing comprehensive mental health and psychosocial support to survivors of trauma and gender-based violence and clinical case management in Malakal, Awerial, and Bor.

International Medical Corps conducted a needs assessment in Minkamman Village in Awerial County, where an estimated 85,000 people are sheltered. The team found major gaps in water, sanitation and hygiene services, psychosocial support, community health awareness and mobile medical clinics to reach more remote areas. The organization has prepositioned medicines and medical supplies in existing field sites, as emergency stocks across the country are dwindling with the worsening humanitarian situation.

International Medical Corps has been delivering humanitarian assistance in southern Sudan for 20 years and supporting communities across South Sudan since independence in 2011. International Medical Corps shares the concerns of many in the humanitarian community that the ongoing and escalating conflict will have a devastating impact on civilians in South Sudan, and is hoping for a swift cessation of violence.

Contact: Jaya Vadlamudi, Senior Communications Officer, International Medical Corps  +1 310 826 7800


About International Medical Corps

Since its inception 30 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services and sustainable development projects that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning hardest-hit populations to self-reliance. For more information visit:  Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.