For almost a year Bentiu State Hospital in South Sudan had to close its doors due to the war. In fact, there hardly weren’t any doors left. With funds from the Health Pooled Fund Cordaid managed to get the hospital back in business in less than half a year. It reopened last week, to the delight and jubilation of both medical staff and the community.
Bentiu State Hospital is of capital importance to more than half a million people. It was the first referral hospital for the state, offering secondary care to the people of Unity State and neighboring states in the north. Until the war came.
Looted and vandalized
During the civil war (December 2013 until August 2015 when the peace agreement was signed) the hospital was looted and vandalized, up to the point that its services stopped completely for almost a year. In a war-affected country, with extremely worrying health indicators, this is nothing less than a disaster that further aggravates the harsh living conditions.
Renovated, reequipped and staffed
After the South Sudan peace agreement was signed in August 2015, Cordaid was approached by the Health Pooled Fund and the state ministry of Health. We were requested to renovate, reequip and support staffing of the Bentiu State Hospital, within 6 months (April – November 2015) and with a grant of 430.000 GBP.
The renovation was completed in October this year. Cordaid also managed to support 12 medical staff members: 5 doctors, 2 nurses, 1 midwife, 2 medical laboratory staff, 1 anesthetist and 1 pharmacist. We also provided medical equipment, furniture and internet connectivity for the outpatient department. This helped to restore basic OPD services.
Grand reopening Bentiu State Hospital
To celebrate the reopening, Unity State organized a grand ceremony on November 10th, attended by state officials and, above all, doctors, nurses and community members, all jubilantly expressing their joy.
Cordaid and the Health pooled Fund in South Sudan
Improving the health status of South Sudan’s population is extremely important. Across the country, healthcare provision is poor or non-existent, due to protracted violence and displacement, a high disease burden, poor access to sanitation, illiteracy and high levels of poverty. To address this Cordaid and the Health Pooled Fund are improving access and quality of primary and secondary health and nutrition services in different parts of South Sudan, as well as in the northern Unity State, of which Bentiu is the capital.
Cordaid has over 20 years experience in supporting and implementing primary and secondary healthcare projects in what is now South Sudan.