14 July 2011

Dr Prinitha Pillay, MSF South Africa’s board president, spoke to SABC Channel Africa radio journalist, Jane Mathebula, about the state of health care in South Sudan in the wake of the country’s independence. Pillay spent nine months working in South Sudan between 2010 and 2011.

“The situation in South Sudan today in fact remains a humanitarian emergency,” Pillay said. “The needs are acute and they are unmet. I think it’s important to know, or at least what I’ve seen, it that it’s already dire for the population.  The civilian population has born the brunt of emergency.”

Before the second civil war erupted in the 1990s, Sudan had a functioning health system, especially in the north, however when war erupted the country’s health system deteriorated…. 80 percent of medical coverage in South Sudan is today provided by NGOs and humanitarian organisations…

“Most people have to travel vast distances to get to our clinic and what you see is that they suffer from a wide range of diseases, not always easy to diagnose because in South Sudan it’s difficult to have good diagnostic tests available,” Pillay told SABC.

Listen to the full interview below