South Sudan: Treating severe malaria in Bentiu

25 September 2015

New arrivals wait to be registered at the Bentiu PoC. They arrive with stories of widespread fighting and a lack of food. Photo: Brendan Bannon/MSF

Arrivals queue to be registered at the Bentiu PoC. Photo: Brendan Bannon/MSF

Three-year-old Kume tested positive for malaria. He had a fever over 103 degrees when his family brought him to the hospital. Photo: Brendan Bannon/MSF

Night time at the MSF field hospital in the Bentiu PoC. The hospital provides 24-hour emergency room care, intensive care for malnourished children, medical treatment in pediatric and adult wards, and surgical and maternity services. Photo: Brendan Bannon/MSF

Blood transfusions are often necessary for malaria patients suffering from anemia. In Bentiu, blood is collected on-site from family donors and tested for malaria, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, and HIV. Photo: Brendan Bannon/MSF

MSF medical staff work to bring down the fever of another young malaria patient before giving a necessary blood transfusion. Photo: Brendan Bannon/MSF

Nyaniema Gatluak watches as medical staff tend to her son, who is sick with pneumonia. “We came in because of the fighting,” she says. “We always heard guns shooting day and night, so we ran into the camp." Photo: Brendan Bannon/MSF

Inside the operating room at the MSF hospital in the Bentiu PoC. Photo: Brendan Bannon/MSF

MSF workers screen children for malaria at a field clinic near the registration site for new arrivals to the Bentiu PoC. Photo: Brendan Bannon/MSF

In 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 to the MSF hospital inside the PoC with severe malaria infection.

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