The cries of babies echo in the hospital waiting room.
Children pressed against their mothers stare up at the nurse calling out the names of patients, desperate to see the doctor.
Surrounded by devastation following the outbreak of civil war in 2013, Bentiu State Hospital is the only state-run hospital in the Unity region in northern South Sudan.
Stretched for resources, the healthcare facility treats up to 500 patients a day.
As part of their ongoing community outreach efforts, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan’s Ghanaian peacekeeping battalion has donated medical equipment and supplies, including a laboratory centrifuge and malaria test kits to help the hospital provide much-needed services to the local community.
“We try to reach out to the local community to find out where they have problems and where they have difficulties so that we factor them in when planning for our outreach programmes,” said Major Kwesi Peprah, the deputy commanding officer of the Ghanaian battalion.
Dito Kul Samuel, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, said it was not the first time the battalion had responded to the needs of the hospital.
“They came during World Peace Day to clean the hospital and they helped with building a fence around the hospital,” he said.
The peacekeeping battalion plans to help renovate patient wards although transporting building material from the country’s capital, Juba, remains a big challenge for the Mission.