South Sudan’s poor struggle to access healthcare
Amidst the deteriorating economy in South Sudan, many citizens continue to experience great suffering due to a lack of basic health services. Some citizens say many are even lacking life-saving medicines in villages across the country.
Citizen Irumu Jacki, who lives in Trangori village in Eastern Equatoria, said the majority of her community are suffering as they lack life-saving medicines in her village.
“Sometimes when people get sick in the village, we do not find enough life-saving medicines. There are only medicines such as Metrozone, Panadol, and anti-Malaria.” She added that if a person needs further checkups such as X-Ray and others, they are not available. “Even if we reach the health centre, strong and rare medicines are only available in private pharmacies, and these pharmacies did not come to invest in villages because of poor services, especially infrastructure.”
South Sudanese legal activist Khansa Ibrahim says that the country’s constitution stipulates the right of citizens to access basic services, including education, health, and others. She explained that the state is obliged to provide services to its citizens, such as schools and hospitals, to help the vulnerable citizens to obtain health services and receive medicines and at the same level of
services that the citizens receive from private facilities.
“Any citizen who goes to the hospital must receive treatment through medical personnel to serve the citizen,” she narrates. “This is one of the rights stipulated in the Constitution of South Sudan.”
Radio Tamazuj randomly talked to some citizens around the country about health services in their area, and what the government is doing. Stella Sonya, a resident of Ibalo village in Eastern Equatoria state, says that her area has no sufficient medicines to treat patients, and sometimes the necessary medicines such as Panadol and Anti-Malaria are lacking, and sometimes citizens die on the road due to poor health services.
Juba resident Tabitha said it is her right as a citizen that the state provides services to them in cooperation with the citizens because the government without the citizens will not be able to work. “The hygienic environment around the neighbourhoods [in Juba] is not clean, so the government must work on that in addition to the provision of water,” she said. “We have not received our wages for a long period of time. This is difficult for the government to look into. In addition, we suffer from the problem of lack of drainage within the city, which must be solved.”
On the same note, Batwil Simbi said that the state needs to engage in serious work to be able to provide services to the citizens, and the first of these services is to provide security for the citizens in order to ensure the delivery of the rest of the services in various regions. Secondly, the provision of health services and improvement of infrastructures such as roads, public utilities, electricity and others. “These are the simple things that must be provided to the citizens in South Sudan,” Simbi stressed.
Governor of Central Equatoria State, Emmanuel Adil Anthony says that recovering from the effects of the long war in the country is the priority for the government.
“The issue of providing services to citizens is important especially since most of the infrastructure in this state has been destroyed due to the war. Health centres, schools and roads were destroyed, ” Adil narrates. “We are working to rebuild schools, health centres and roads to contribute to the return of citizens to their homes, ” Governor Adil told Radio Tamazuj.
Civil activist Jaafar Moi said South Sudanese are in need of services, pointing out that South Sudanese suffer in obtaining the most basic services. “The government now must strive to provide services to the citizens,” he said. “They must look at the suffering of the people and solve it, just as they care about members of parliament. This includes the provision of schools, security, health, roads and others, these projects must be implemented.”
In light of the suffering of citizens and the weakness of the government to provide quality health services, the question remains, what should be done to end the suffering of the citizens? Citizen Irumu Jackie answers again, “The government should provide health services to the citizen, provide trained and qualified health cadres to provide health services to citizens in remote villages, establish health facilities with good specifications, and provide medicines to serve the citizens there because many citizens suffer in transferring patients from villages to the city for treatment. Some die because of poor health services.”
South Sudan deputy central bank governor dies in Nairobi
JUBA – South Sudan’s deputy governor of central bank for administration and finance, Daniel Keach Puoch, died in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Wednesday after having been on treatment for several months in the Kenyan capital, the bank and family sources said.
The senior South Sudan bank official was appointed vide a presidential decree as the deputy governor of the bank for administration and finance.
Speaking to Sudans Post in Nairobi, a family member who requested not to be identified said the Puoch passed on Wednesday, but refused to disclose the cause of the illness that culminated in his demise.
“This is to confirm that he passed on yesterday here in Nairobi. He has been on medication for a number of months,” the family source said.
In a statement, the central bank confirmed the demise of the senior financial institution official.
“The Bank of South Sudan regrets to inform the general public and the people of South Sudan about the untimely death of the Deputy Governor for Administration and Finance Hon. Daniel Kech which occurred on July,13, 2022 in Nairobi,” the bank statement said.
Via Sudans Post
Sudan’s al Burhan in Juba for talks with Kiir on peace implementation
Sudan’s al Burhan in Juba for talks with Kiir on peace implementationJUBA — The leader of Sudan’s Transitional Sovereign Council Gen. Abdelfattah al Burhan has arrived in the South Sudanese capital Juba to hold talk with President Salva Kiir Mayardit on the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement according to a statement by the presidency.
The presidency statement said the Sudanese leader was received at Juba airport by President Kiir and the two are expected to discuss the challenges facing the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement.
“His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic has this evening received General Abdel Fattah al-Buhran, the Chairman of Transitional Sovereign Council of the Republic of Sudan, upon arrival at Juba International Airport,” the statement said.
Ateny Wek Ateny, the press secretary in the office of the president, said “the two leaders will hold a meeting tomorrow (Friday, 18th March 2022) to discuss issues pertaining to challenges affecting the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement and also the progress of the implementation of Sudan’s Peace Agreement that is being meditated by South Sudan Government.”
The senior presidency aide further said Kiir “will be briefed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on his recent visit to Uganda where he held a meeting with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as guarantors of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on the way forward following the cancellation of the retreat that was scheduled to take place in Kampala recently.”
Civil Society calls for Communities’ participation in the Petroleum Sector in greater Upper Nile State.
The Executive Director of Upper Nile Youth Development Association (UNYDA) Mr. Charles Onak has called on the government of the Republic of South Sudan to engage in wider and meaningful community participation in natural resource management to promote sustainable development.
The remarks were delivered during the opening of a workshop on 6th March 2022 in Juba on Enhancing the capacity and knowledge of civil society organization’s on petroleum laws. The gathering brought together members of civil society, government representatives, Academia, Members of Parliament and students.
The training is part of a series of workshops conducted by UNYDA in collaboration with Civil Society Coalition on Natural Resources (CSCNR) and supported by the Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) to raise awareness on the key provisions of petroleum health, safety and environmental management system and plan regulations 2015.
Environmental safety measures are often neglected in South Sudan’s extractive industries. recently there has been concerns about the risks communities living near oil fields including Thar-jath, in Unity state are exposed to especially given the devastating floods of 2021 that persist up to now. There is an alarm that the poor disposal of petroleum waste may contaminate drinking water sources. Sign of Hope, a German NGO has recently reported that its research on water contamination has confirmed the its worst fears, “The water was polluted with a witches’ brew of heavy metals, salts and other noxious substances. The source of these was quite obviously the local oil fields”.
Health hazards associated with the drilling of oil in South Sudan has not been given a serious consideration by the government and oil companies despite many years of advocacy by locals and environmental activists. Reports of unusual death of animals, still births and deformed babies continue to remain unresolved. And no significant measures have been taken by companies drilling oil to protect communities from negative effects of oil production.
Meanwhile Mr. Nhial Tiitmamer, an environmental specialist urged the civil society leaders to advocate for reforms including the implementation of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) based on the existing laws before new projects are approved. Environmental experts have for long doubted the conduct of feasibility study of projects including an environmental impact assessment before commencement of big projects with implication on nature.
The dialogue is part of empowering local communities to understand the laws on petroleum, and to build stakeholders capacity to promote citizens voices in decision making on petroleum management.
Chapter IV, article 4.9 of the 2018 Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCISS) provides for environmental protection and compels the government to develop comprehensive policies and legal institutional frameworks for the preservation, conservation and sustainable use of the environment. However new institutions like the Environmental Management Authority which would play a central role in this mandate are yet to be formed.
Oil continues to be South Sudan’s most important natural resource funding over 80% of the country’s annual budget. With large proven reserves of up to 3.5 billion barrels – the 3rd largest in sub-Saharan Africa and 90% of the oil and gas reserves untapped. The government is keen to increase production and revenues, and with strong interest from foreign investors, there is great potential for development of new wells given the return of relative peace in most areas with oil blocks but also a negative environmental and social impact given the government’s and operating companies poor track record in implementation of the petroleum related codifications.
Upper Nile Youth Development Association with support from NPA has been training civil society leaders, government officials on petroleum laws including the Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) 2012, Petroleum Act 2012, Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Regulations, and local content regulations to enhance the capacity and knowledge of civil society leaders on the petroleum legislations to increase information sharing, learning, and as well provide a collective voice to ensure accountable and responsive natural resource governance sector.
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