S Sudan violence forces thousands to flee

Staff and patients desert the only functioning hospital in Unity State after reports that fighting was approaching.

Fighting in a South Sudanese state has forced thousands of people to flee into the bush, including patients and staff at hospital run by an international aid agency.

Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) said in a statement on Friday that approaching violence in Unity State meant there were no longer any patients or staff left at Leer Hospital.

A team of 30 local MSF staff members, who were among the 240 that fled, took several dozen of the most severely ill patients from Leer Hospital into the bush, fearing for their safety.

Other patients who were well enough to leave on their own accord also escaped.

“Despite incredibly challenging circumstances, MSF local staff continued running the hospital in Leer for as long as they could,” said Raphael Gorgeu, MSF head of mission.

“However, in the past three days, the situation became too unstable and the only way to provide medical care was to take patients out of the hospital and to flee with the population into the bush.

“Leer Hospital was the only fully functioning hospital in southern Unity State, and now that it is no longer safe to work in this medical facility, more than 270,000 people have no access to health-care.”

Violence has swept through South Sudan since December, with the government trying to stop a rebellion led by the former vice-president.

 

 

 

 

Source : Al jazeera

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