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South Sudan: MSF Hands Over Medical Activities in Yida

Yida/Juba, 31 December 2019 — After actively responding to the medical needs of people in and around Yida for eight years, the medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is handing over its project in Yida—where MSF has been supporting the outpatient department of the Yida Primary Health Care Center (PHCC) — to the Ministry of Health (MoH) and its partners on 31 December.

Measles vaccination campaign in Yida refugees camp[Photo: Karin Ekholm/MSF]
In our eight years of service to the Yida community, we have provided healthcare services to thousands of people and reduced mortality in children under five years old by providing outbreak response and vaccination services.

MSF arrived in Yida in December 2011 to respond to the humanitarian crisis that resulted from the influx of an estimated 65,000 refugees fleeing the conflict in South Kordofan. Now, eight years later, the context has evolved and stabilized, and MSF has been working closely with the MoH and its partners to facilitate the handover of medical activities and to ensure a smooth transition in health services for the Yida host community and refugee population. MSF has been providing primary health care services, malaria testing and treatment, routine vaccinations, and hospital referrals. In addition to training MoH staff who will work in the facility, MSF is donating medical equipment and medicines to support the continuation of medical activities.

“Handing over the Yida project was not a decision that MSF took lightly,” said Lisa Jones, Deputy Project Coordinator. “In our eight years of service to the Yida community, we have provided healthcare services to thousands of people and reduced mortality in children under five years old by providing outbreak response and vaccination services.”

During its time in Yida, MSF has been one of the main health care providers in the area. The height of MSF’s response to the refugee influx started in 2012 when MSF set up an inpatient and outpatient departments, an inpatient malnutrition department, outbreak response, mass vaccination campaigns, and activities to ensure access to safe drinking water.

“While difficult, the decision does give us the freedom to reflect and reprioritize our resources so we can be ready to respond to future emergency needs in South Sudan,” Jones said. “We appreciate the Ministry of Health and its partners’ collaboration over the past years, and we welcome their willingness to manage these outpatient medical activities in Yida going forward.”

MSF often closes or hands over projects based on the changing health and humanitarian needs of a population, and the available resources of the organization. However, handing over a project does not mean putting an end to MSF’s activities in this country; MSF remains committed to providing assistance to the people of South Sudan and is an active provider of emergency health care across the country.

MSF is one of the leading providers of medical humanitarian assistance in South Sudan. With over 16 projects in the country, MSF provides its medical assistance neutrally, independently, and impartially to those who need it most, regardless of political affiliation, race, or ethnicity. MSF has worked in the region that today constitutes the Republic of South Sudan since 1983. In 2018 alone, MSF performed 1,157,900 outpatient consultations across the country.

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