By IHP, Jun 20 2018 11:32AM
Imagine this: burning sun, dust in your eyes and mouth, little or no food for several days, no water to drink, a meagre bundle of clothes under your arm (your only possessions) and the crying of hungry children.
This is a reality for thousands of people in the world today.
On World Refugee Day (20th June) it’s sobering for a minute to recall that, in those same 60 seconds, 20 people somewhere in the world will be forced to leave their homes and start a long journey often with an unknown destination.
It is estimated that there are currently 65 million displaced people in the world today.
South Sudan entered its fifth year of conflict in 2018, and violence, displacement, and drought continue to fuel a dire humanitarian crisis there. Approximately 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and 1.9 million people have become internally displaced, with 85% of the displaced population estimated to be women and children.
As a direct result of the protracted conflict, South Sudan experienced a famine in 2017 in the northern state of Unity and the country continues to face crisis levels of food insecurity today. Poor nutrition as well as humble living conditions, overcrowding at internally displaced persons (IDP) sites, and a lack of infection prevention and control at health and sanitation facilities have led to increases of water borne illness and disease, including the longest outbreak of cholera in the country’s history, which lasted from June 2017 to February 2018.
IHP (International Health Partners) has been supporting its partners International Medical Corps and World Relief in the region with the provision of medical aid including Essential Health Packs (EHPs), each kit containing over 800 medical treatments.
Both partners have been supporting conflict-affected populations in South Sudan for over 20 years, long before the civil war first erupted in 2013, and today provide comprehensive primary and secondary healthcare to vulnerable communities, focusing on IDPs and refugees who have little to no access to medical services.
The EHPs have helped replenish and maintain stocks of antibiotics and other medicines needed for the treatment of acute respiratory tract infections and other bacterial infections. Previous IHP donations have reached conflict-affected populations in South Sudan during the height of the rainy season, when the people are at highest risk for disease, and in the midst of South Sudan’s famine and drought in the Greater Upper Nile region.
To date, IHP-donated medicines have helped over 58,000 people directly. These are mostly women, children and girls, although, in principle, the clinics and centres attend to anyone who needs help, without discrimination. This has helped to make a significant contribution to saving lives, alleviating suffering, and reducing the social and economic impact of the famine and drought on vulnerable communities in South Sudan by supporting gaps at local healthcare clinics and hospitals, and increasing the quality of care provided to vulnerable IDPs and refugees.
It’s a partnership that makes a big impact. You can make an impact too.
The sun still burns and the children continue to cry; there is still not enough food and water. But IHP and partners continue to provide essential health care.
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