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Drugs lacking in South Sudan’s Jonglei amid spike in malaria

By Simon Deng

Bor state hospital in South Sudan’s Jonglei is facing so many challenges ranging from shortage of drugs lack and qualified medics to manage various ailments amid congestion.

Bol Chaw Manyang, Medical Director for Bor State Hospital told The Juba Echo in an Interview on Wednesday that they have run out of anti-malaria, injectable antibiotics for bacterial infections, anti-venom and anti-rabies for treating victims of dog bites.

 “The first challenge is lack of essential medicines to manage patients and this has been compounded by the large number of patients that come to the hospital on daily basis. On average nearly 500 patients turn up at the hospital,” said Manyang, adding that they lack capacity to admit many patients.

In addition, he said that they are dealing with an increase in malaria cases following months of flooding.

“There is an increase in the number of patients that have been admitted in the various wards and in the out-patient department, all these are attributed to the floods, and this has overwhelmed the capacity of the hospital to deal with them,” he disclosed.

Manyang appealed to the national government and partners to support them with drugs to treat malaria and pneumonia among children.

He also disclosed that they lack enough specialists like gynecologists, surgeons, and pediatricians.

Jonglei is among the states whose population is among the 7 million people in the country at risk of hunger this year, according to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The hunger situation is further exacerbated by flooding and sub-national conflicts.

Mary Aluel, mother of three who visited Bor state hospital for the third- time in two months said that she has been attending treatment for malaria and typhoid.

She expressed fear of having to dig deep into her pocket to buy drugs in private pharmacies since the hospital she relies for treatment at cheaper cost has run out of drugs.

 “The hospital has a capacity to treat diseases like malaria and typhoid, but sometimes such drugs are not available in the hospital, so when you have money you buy from the pharmacy but when you do not have money then you continue suffering,” said Aluel.

Aluel can no longer attend to her tea business in Malou market due to water submerging the market.

“Money is now difficult to get, most of the markets are submerged and the main market is not enough to accommodate all of us,” she said.

According to George Wani Worri, the Jonglei State Coordinator for the World Health Organization (WHO), there is increase in the rate of infections across the state admitting that the shortage of essential drugs.

 “If you see the way partners try to preposition drugs, WHO will try to bring drugs for emergency and the government will also bring their contribution of drugs, but the consumption rates of drugs are just very high and there are specific medicines that move faster compared to others,” said Wani.

Wani added that cases of respiratory tract infections are on the rise.

He said that drugs are prepositioned every three months, but they get exhausted within three weeks.

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