Shoring Up Health Care for Refugees in South Sudan

As one of the few international organizations in Maban and Longechuk counties, Relief International plays a key role in residents’ health care. Health care systems have deteriorated under pressure from increased numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP). In 2011, more than 100,000 people fled to Maban to escape violence near the Sudanese border. Spikes in violence in 2013 and 2014 further strained the area’s nascent health system, limiting the transportation of medical supplies and the movement of health professionals. Malnutrition runs as high as 30 percent among children in South Sudan, according to some estimates, and the country has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates.

With funding from the Interchurch Medical Assistance organization (IMA) and the World Bank, RI worked with the community in Maban and Longechuk from January 2013 to June 2015 to strengthen local health facilities and train local providers. RI supplied health facilities with medicines, supplies and data management tools to run efficiently. Training and support was also a significant component of this effort.

By the end of the program, Relief International reached nearly 60,000 IDPs and 600,000 host population members.