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MSF Evacuates Hospital in Leer, South Sudan

06 October 2015

Surgical ward in February 24, 2014: The rest of the hospital was also looted, burned, ransacked, and effectively destroyed, along with most of the town. Hundreds of thousands of people were cut off from lifesaving medical care. Photo: Michael Goldfarb/MSF

The offices in February 24, 2014: "We hope that we do not see a repeat of what happened in January 2014 when fighting forced thousands of people—including our local staff who took along dozens of critically ill patients—to hide in the swamps with their families," said Paul Critchley, MSF head of mission. Photo: Michael Goldfarb/MSF

Remains of the emergency room, February 24, 2014: Health promotion posters flank the entrance to the ER. Opened by MSF 27 years ago, Leer hospital was the only secondary health care facility in Unity State. Photo: Michael Goldfarb/MSF

February 24, 2014: A stretcher looted from the MSF hospital in Leer, South Sudan, lies on the edge of the town's former airstrip, marked by fresh tank tracks. "Today, we withdraw again with a heavy heart,” said Critchley last week. “Because we know how civilians will suffer when they are cut off from critical, lifesaving medical care. We call on all armed groups to show unconditional respect for our patients, medical facilities and staff." Photo: Michael Goldfarb/MSF

Emergency room at Leer hospital: A caretaker stands by her sick relative. The patient was suspected of having kala azar, a neglected disease that is endemic to this part of the country. MSF was providing treatment for kala azar to people in and around Leer; some patients came from far away to seek treatment. Photo: John Stanmeyer/VII

Surgical ward at Leer hospital: A 14-year-old boy is treated after he was wounded by an unexploded ordnance that killed seven of the men who were with him. Photo: Petterik Wiggers

Offices at left, a view of functional Leer hospital. Photo: Petterik Wiggers/MSF

In early 2014, MSF’s hospital in Leer, in South Sudan’s Unity State, was attacked, burned and looted. On May 9, 2014, staff and patients were evacuated again in anticipation of another devastating attack.

The hospital has served the population of Leer and its surrounding area for 27 years, providing treatment for HIV, tuberculosis, and kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis), malnutrition, and more.

The following are photos of MSF’s hospital in Leer when it was active and images of it after it was destroyed in early 2014. MSF calls on all groups to respect our patients, staff and health care facilities.