May 10, 2012 - Los Angeles, Calif. – International Medical Corps is deploying an Emergency Response Team to address the humanitarian needs of returnees arriving from Sudan back into South Sudan. Acute malnutrition and a high level of morbidity have been flagged as risks among the returning population.
The National Health Cluster and the Central Equatoria State Ministry of Health has asked International Medical Corps to be the lead health agency in response to the arrival of up to 12,000 South Sudanese returnees currently displaced in Sudan. The organization’s local teams have already been responding to two additional sites in Jonglei State where communities need emergency health care and other humanitarian services.
In the coming two weeks, returnees will leave Sudan and will be moved to a camp being established 45 miles north of Juba, in an area called Mangalla in Central Equatoria State. Because the existing health facility in Mangalla is unable to serve the influx of returnees in addition to the host community, International Medical Corps will immediately establish a new clinic within the camp to meet health and possible nutrition needs. The Health Cluster is preparing for a rise in cases of acute malnutrition and a high level of morbidity among the returnee population.
The organization is also providing health services to refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) in Jonglei State. In Pochalla County, it is providing health services in the Alari refugee camp where 10,000 refugees who fled violence in Ethiopia are currently residing. International Medical Corps is the only International Non-Governmental Organization operational in this area and is providing health care, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and camp management services.
In Akobo County, International Medical Corps is providing health services to approximately 2,500 IDPs who have also arrived from Ethiopia to an area called Old Akobo. International Medical Corps operates a primary health care unit in Old Akobo and will respond to ongoing health needs.
International Medical Corps is supporting 49 health facilities in South Sudan, providing primary and secondary health care, nutrition, and WASH services. The organization has been present in South Sudan since 1994, and currently works in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria States.
Violence has continued to escalate as South Sudan and Sudan have engaged in protracted border disputes since the south officially seceded from the north almost a year ago. International Medical Corps continues to monitor the situation and is prepared to deploy additional teams to address humanitarian needs.
Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, International Medical Corps' mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.