RRP Advances Modern Medical Treatment Through Keyala Healthcare Center

Juba, 22 March 2007: Four-year-old Bosco Oliha was wrestling with his brother at home when he tumbled to the floor and fractured his leg. His father, Sarlino Oliha, carried him 15 kilometers to the Keyala healthcare center, which was recently renovated, expanded, and supplied by the European Commission funded Recovery and Rehabilitation Programmeme (RRP) in Eastern Equatoria. Sarlino said, “Before this center, I would have to treat him at home with tree bark, tying this on his leg for two weeks, and using warm water.”

Eva Cabatingan, the Eastern Equatoria RRP’s primary healthcare supervisor and trainer, said that the Keyala community is already educated about modern treatment, and anxious to have access to healthcare services. However, until this healthcare center opened, the community had no choice but to seek medical attention from traditional healers, or walk a day or more to the hospital in Torit or Chukudum. Eva has been a nurse for 29 years and has worked in Sudan for 13 years. She has worked for Merlin, one of the RRP NGO partners, since August 2006.

Rose, a mother of four from Haforiere, carried her 10-month-old baby Sarfino 1.5 hours to the health center to treat him for malaria. “Before this health center, I had a baby who was sick with malaria and went to a fortune teller who gave me herbs. My baby passed away.” At the health center, Sarfino was treated with a quinine drip to fight the malaria and given fluids for his dehydration. “Already Sarfino is better today,” Rose said.

Since the healthcare center began serving the community six months ago, 8,659 people have sought treatment. The majority of patients are seeking treatment for malaria and acute watery diarrhoea, followed by pneumonia and other respiratory infections. The center has a pharmacy stocked with the essential drugs required by the Government of South Sudan’s Ministry of Health, and also provides immunization services for polio, measles, whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria. The center is staffed by qualified local healthcare professionals, recruited under the approval of the Keyala community health committee, which is responsible for managing the facility. In combination with all of its services, the center provides health education, either individually or in groups. The local authorities in Eastern Equatoria guided the RRP in all of its project activities, including the renovation of the Keyala health center.

Now that the Keyala health center is functioning at full capacity, the RRP in Eastern Equatoria will turn its attention to the Imotong community, where there is currently only a temporary health unit operating in a small tukul, with patients resting outside on the surrounding grounds. The RRP is supplying medicine to this unit, while it rehabilitates and equips a proper brick structure in Imotong Center. According to Tracy O’Heir, the RRP in Eastern Equatoria consortium coordinator, “The communities we are serving were completely cut off from basic services during the war. The RRP is not only restoring these services, but training the community to manage them.” Tracy works for Catholic Relief Services, the agency leading the consortium of NGOs implementing the RRP in Eastern Equatoria.

Other partners in the consortium include Merlin, Associazione Volontari per il Servizio Internazionale, and the Catholic Diocese of Torit. In the Imotong, Keyala, and Imehejek centers, the project will support farmer field schools; construct markets and roads; construct two vocational centers to provide training for carpentry, tailoring, bicycle repair, handicrafts, and business skills; conduct adult literacy classes; drill new boreholes and repair damaged ones; create valley dams; construct and rehabilitate schools; build public latrines; and construct a theatre for community performances and information campaigns. These activities will serve 63,873 community members and returnees.

The Eastern Equatoria is part of a larger recovery Programmeme implemented in ten states across Sudan. Following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January 2005, the European Commission re-launched its development assistance with a € 54.3 million quick-start Recovery and Rehabilitation Programmeme (RRP). The RRP is a four-year initiative (2006 – 2009) administered by UNDP on behalf of the Government of National Unity and the Government of South Sudan.

The RRP is the largest and most comprehensive recovery Programmeme in Sudan serving up to 800,000 Sudanese. A total of 47 national and international NGOs are working together across the country to build water points, healthcare units, schools, and sanitation systems; design projects that provide families an opportunity to earn an income; improve the local administration’s performance capacity; and respond to priority needs defined by the communities themselves.

For more information on the RRP, please contact:
Jami Schievelbein
Information Liaison Officer


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