Nile River Greatness

Nile River Greatness
Cows grazing in Nile basin land

Monday, November 2, 2009

Health Calamity! South Sudan has only one optician


Health Calamity! South Sudan has only one optician

By Lodiong Morris

Early in the morning patients have gathered in the optical ward (eye unit) waiting for the only optician in the country. It’s not only the locals within Juba but tens of thousands coming from all the ten states of southern Sudan.

This is at Juba teaching hospital, the country’s oldest hospital that served during the 21 years of civil war between the South and the North. It was the only major hospital that was working despite the upheaval the staffs were undergoing when Khartoum government backed militias in Juba penetrate into the hospital the nurses were not spared they were caned, flog, for not treating those from operation the nurses were accused of being pro the then rebel termed to be thugs then.

Today the twist is different the past days have gone life has to get on with open access to medical assistance those using herbs then now come for treatment in the country’s biggest hospital.

In the eye unit the nurses were not so rude may be because they were not pressured or paid promptly there was no much work ones the South Sudanese optician who lives and work in Zimbabwe leaves there was no much work to worry them, only the task was to sit and tell patients who have travelled miles away from Juba that the doctor will be coming or has travelled.

Paul Loke Lokoro around 65 years old opshalneric clinical officer said they only have one optician dealing with surgery Dr. Wani Mena. He comes home to his country to voluntarily help the patients that dearly needs him.

Loke said they receives a total of about 25-25 patients daily from different states but not all were operated because the doctor doing that cannot handle the great number that comprises of all the age sects as he voluntarily work and could always be demanded by his employers in his second country.

He said they were only three ophalneric clinical officers in the whole of South Sudan, one Baranda Mach Kangi works in Buluk School of the blind, Juba he treats some of the sight problem in the school while the rest work in Juba teaching hospital with hardly any knowledge to operate.

One other biggest challenge he said was lack of transport facility for them to move to all the ten state main hospitals to carry out the medical treatment to avoid the mobility of the citizens whom poverty will force them to be blind.

Christian blindness vision the only organization helping the blind in Juba teaching hospital stocks the pharmacies according to the clinical officer the support wasn’t enough as more cases were reported.

“Our pharmacy is being stock by Christian Blindness vision but its providing not much because the demand is too high many people are reporting sighting problems from all the states we need more assistance” he said

South Sudan sight problem according to Dr. Wani Mena were being cause by diseases like Cataract, trachoma, onchocerachas, reflective error and childhood blindness with majority case from Western equatoria and western Barhel Gazel States however these states lack professional health personnel to treat the sickness patients thus travel to Juba for the treatment.

Mena also said the only treatment they give to patients was the evisceration (Eye washing), surgery in some cases and the use of eye glasses.

At the age of 25 Charles Peter from Munduri East, Western Equatoria State said he had been suffering for seven years, according to him he moved to several health centers in the state including the state’s main hospital but there was no proper treatment for his eyes.

Peter said it took him lot of money contributed by the family and well wisher to come to Juba. He was optimistic that his problem would be rectified because he learnt that many people operated have been relieved.

“I come from Munduri I cannot see well the disease has taken seven years I cannot see well, I moved to all the hospitals including Yambio state main hospital but I did not get the right medicine for the disease they told me to come for operation” Ruati said.

Achol Mary a patient from Yirol appealed to the government of South Sudan and any humanitarian body to extend the service near because there were other patients back who cannot afford to travel to Juba for the operation.

“There many people there they cannot come up to Juba let our government should take this service near because most people cannot afford to come up to Equatoria here” she said.

South Sudan medical field is virgin the few doctors present are engage in their various activities just like the teachers in government schools they too have deserted the field blaming the government for failing to pay them on time including poor condition of work.

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