Chinese medics provide support to South Sudan’s flood victims

South Sudan

The tenth batch of the Chinese medical team traveled to the Panyagor headquarters of Twic East County of South Sudan’s Jonglei state to provide urgent medical needs to hundreds of flood victims.

Several people who received free treatment in the flood-prone region turned up with bilharzia, guinea worm, diarrhea diseases, malaria, and pneumonia diseases.

Adior Deng, 20, after queuing for hours with her one-year-and-half child who had an ear infection, was relieved to receive treatment for the frail-looking toddler.

“The infection started in May. Both ears could bleed and sometimes ooze pus. This is my first time to receive treatment for this child because the flooding made it difficult to access health centers,” Deng told Xinhua Wednesday during an interview in Panyagor town.

Panyagor has turned into an island following heavy flooding since June 2020 when the banks of the Nile River burst, displacing more than 1 million people in several South Sudan states including Jonglei.

The majority of the inhabitants of this region have been living in highlands for years till January when the dry season commenced.

Latjor Bol, 28, who was shot in 2019 during a cattle raid in Pibor Administrative Area but has been nursing pain for years, was able to meet the Chinese doctors. He said that despite having been operated upon in the thigh where the bullet ripped through, he still nurses persistent pain.

“The pain has persisted for years, sometimes the affected area of my right thigh swells. I appreciate the Chinese doctors for giving me medicine to relieve the pain,” Bol said.

Arok Deng, a former internally displaced person in neighboring Lakes State, said she developed a severe allergy to smoke and spray while using firewood for cooking during the years she spent in the camp for displaced persons.

“If she smells mosquito spray or smoke she starts to sneeze terribly. She (Deng) used to cook with firewood now her eyes itch whenever she encounters smoke,” said Mabior Jacob Yak, a police officer and husband of Deng.

Yak disclosed that his wife had never received medication for the allergic condition until the arrival of the China medical team to their ancestral village.

Abraham Khor Gak, 32, a teacher and boma health worker in Panyagor primary health center who turned up to receive medicine for typhoid and malaria, found the tablets were exhausted by the 850 patients who came ahead of him.

“People in my village are disturbing me over these medicines; many people were still on the way coming from the highland areas. They heard that the Chinese doctors arrived from Juba but because of transportation hitches, they found the tablets had been depleted,” Gak said.

Chol Leek Deng, the Twic East County health director, appreciated the Chinese medical team for intervening to treat vulnerable people who could not afford treatment at Panyagor health center.

“This intervention is very important for the Chinese doctors, it is only for one day but if they had spent more days here people from far areas could have traveled up here for free medical treatment,” Leek said.

He said that Panyagor primary health center needs extended support due to the seasonal flooding that inhibits access to health services for many of the inhabitants of the area. “During the ongoing rainy season patients cannot travel to Bor which is the state headquarters, and also our operation theater here is not functional because some of the equipment is not there,” Leek said.

Xu Zhangwei, the leader of the Chinese medical team, said it was the first time for his team to visit remote outposts like Twic East County where roads are damaged during the rainy season, resulting in limited access to medical facilities by local civilians.

“The purpose of the China medical team to organize this free medical camp is to prevent the potential spread of water-borne diseases. The team came here for true friendship between China and South Sudan,” Xu said.

Since the independence of South Sudan in 2011, Chinese medical teams have been offering free medical services as well as capacity building for local health workers and medical students. Enditem

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