South Sudan: Providing access to basic healthcare in remote areas

19 March 2018

Caption: On a river bank in Akobo, a mobile medical team exhausted arrives, after a long day spent in Kier, a 1 hour and a half from there, for the weekly mobile clinic. The assistant nurse is carefully carrying the blue register book of patients.

Caption: A river in the vicinity of Akobo, the town from where MSF organizes mobile clinics in 7 sites

Caption: MSF's mobile medical team arrives in Kier, an hour and a half by boat from Akobo.

Caption: On a shore of the river Pibor in Akobo, South Sudan, a mobile MSF team unloads the equipment, medicines, tables and chairs used all day in the village of Nyokhan, 45 minutes away

Caption: Young women gathered in a disused health facility in ruins, waiting to see the MSF medical officer, during a mobile clinic in the village of Kier.

Caption: Nurse and midwife Furaha Bazikanya, examines a young pregnant woman in one of the two consultation spaces at a mobile clinic in the village of Kier.

Caption: During a mobile clinic, a medic changes the dressing of Kuajien Hoth, 33. He was shot in the left shoulder in a family feud

Caption: Young women and their children are resting in the waiting space in a disused building during a mobile clinic in the village of Meer. They are waiting to see the clinician. The building is a disused health facility

Caption: In the village of Kier, during the weekly mobile clinic, the clinical officer, Tut Koang looks at the ear of a young patient, brought by his grandmother, sitting beside him.

Caption: In the boat that speeds on the Pibor River from the village of Meer, 6-month-old Mathulak Jong's mother holds him in her arms. The boy is suffering from acute pneumonia. Antibiotic treatment did not help. It is time to refer him to Akobo Hospital, 1 hour boat ride away.

Caption: On a bank of the Pibor River in the village of Meer, Mathulak Jong's mother holds her mother son in her arms while waiting for his evacuation by boat. The boy is suffering from acute pneumonia. Antibiotic treatment did not help. It is time to refer him to Akobo Hospital, 1-hour boat ride away from her village.

Photo: Nyahok Nyuon, 30, is being seen by John Lam, a clinical officer in the consultation area of the MSF mobile clinic in the village of Meer.

Caption: MSF sets up a mobile clinic in a disused building once per week in the remote village of Meer, along the Pibor river

Caption: End of the day on the banks of the Pibor River between Kier village and the city of Akobo, near the border with Ethiopia.

Caption: On a beach in Akobo, South Sudan, a mobile clinic team unloads equipment, medicine, tables and chairs used during the day when providing medical care in Nyokhan, a 45 minute journey by boat away.

Caption: On a beach in Akobo, in a remote area of South Sudan, an MSF logistician, attaches to the roof of a 4x4, the equipment that a mobile clinic team has just brought back after a day of mobile boat clinics

Akobo, situated along South Sudan’s eastern border with Ethiopia, is in a remote and conflict-prone area. A steady stream of IDPs are continuing to arrive in Akobo from towns approximately 100km northwest, where persistent fighting has taken place over the recent months.

Because of the ongoing conflict and resulting displacement, the medical and humanitarian needs in the region are enormous. With Akobo being almost entirely cut-off from healthcare, this vulnerable population has no reliable option for basic medical needs.

Lacking drugs or medical staff, existing health facilities in the surrounding areas have been totally abandoned or repurposed for other uses.

To respond, MSF established a base in Akobo in late 2017 and began conducting mobile clinics that travel by boat and by car to nearby villages. An expansion to a permanent primary health care clinic in nearby Kier is already underway.

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

Photography by: Frederic NOY​

Latest News