25 September 2015

The last seven weeks, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams have been treating as many as 4,000 malaria patients every week in its health care facilities in the UN protection of civilians camp (PoC) in Bentiu, South Sudan, a staggering 43-fold increase from figures at the beginning of the year.

As a result of the skyrocketing malaria caseload, compounded by limited access to basic health care and lack of early access to diagnosis and treatment of malaria, many children have been arriving at the MSF hospital inside the PoC with severe malaria infection.

The MSF hospital in the Bentiu PoC is the only hospital for the population of the camp. It provides 24-hour emergency room care, intensive care for malnourished children, medical treatment in pediatric and adult wards, and surgical and maternity services.

Kume, a three year old boy, tested positive for malaria. He had a fever of 39.7 when his family brought him into the hospital at Bentiu POC
Kume, a three year old boy, tested positive for malaria. He had a fever of 39.7 when his family brought him into the hospital at Bentiu POC

As a result of other concurrent outbreaks of infectious diseases, MSF also operates two isolation wards for patients with suspected hepatitis E and measles. MSF operations in Bentiu are supported by more than 40 international staff and 350 local staff.

All photos by Brendan Bannon

"We came in because of the fighting. We always heard guns shooting day and night so we ran into the camp," said Gatluak. In the background is Peter Gatkoth who brought his daughter to the hospital. "We are like people who were never born. We have nothing now. No cattle and no crops," said Peter Gatkoth, father of 5 year old Nyaga Gatkoth who was in the MSF hospital in Bentiu POC with severe Malaria. "We came in May after our cattle were looted and our houses were burned. If they found us they would throw us into the fires. This crisis is still going on," Gatkoth said.

Find out more about MSF's work in South Sudan.