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30 hours with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams in Abyei, South Sudan

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  When the violence broke out in February 2022 thousands of people fled Agok a town in the Abyei Special Administrative Area ASAA Many found refuge in the town of Abyei approximately 65km north of Agok Others fled further south to various villages in Twic County in Warrap State In Abyei City the humanitarian situation remains dire due to unmet basic needs for food and shelter compounded by the unstable and fragile security situation in the area Living conditions are dire for both residents and new internally displaced IDP populations as access to clean water latrines and health care remains a challenge At the start of the violence and mass population movement MSF temporarily moved its operations center from Agok where it has worked since 2008 to Abyei MSF teams are currently working at AmethBek Hospital supporting Ministry of Health staff to provide basic medical care When the Agok people fled to Abyei and Twic we followed them to both places The needs of the displaced people were massive so we continued to where we were needed said Gabrielle Powers MSF head of mission in South Sudan Our goal is to ensure access to quality health care for both host and displaced communities MSF teams are working in the many wards from the emergency room and observation room surgical and obstetric care delivery with a focus on complicated deliveries mental health and sexual violence as well as supporting the various hospital services such as the laboratory and the blood transfusion department At the community level MSF is working to ensure access to healthcare for host communities by deploying outreach teams and community health workers The host communities that took in the displaced people have little or nothing to spare and the services available to them do not meet the needs of the newly arrived Due to its unresolved political status ASAA remains underfunded and underresourced with little international attention More support is needed from governments as well as humanitarian and development organizations to respond to the critical situation here in ASAA Powers explained The ASAA hosts some 143 000 people in addition to tens of thousands of internally displaced people In August 2022 photojournalist Christina Simons followed the MSF team in Abyei for two days documenting the dramatic humanitarian situation in the area and the medical activities carried out by MSF to respond to the needs of the community
30 hours with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams in Abyei, South Sudan

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Abyei Special Administrative Area

When the violence broke out in February 2022, thousands of people fled Agok, a town in the Abyei Special Administrative Area (ASAA).

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Many found refuge in the town of Abyei, approximately 65km north of Agok. Others fled further south to various villages in Twic County in Warrap State.

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In Abyei City, the humanitarian situation remains dire due to unmet basic needs for food and shelter, compounded by the unstable and fragile security situation in the area.

Living conditions are dire for both residents and new internally displaced (IDP) populations, as access to clean water, latrines and health care remains a challenge.

At the start of the violence and mass population movement, MSF temporarily moved its operations center from Agok, where it has worked since 2008, to Abyei.

MSF teams are currently working at AmethBek Hospital, supporting Ministry of Health staff to provide basic medical care.

“When the Agok people fled to Abyei and Twic, we followed them to both places.

The needs of the displaced people were massive; so we continued to where we were needed,” said Gabrielle Powers, MSF head of mission in South Sudan.

“Our goal is to ensure access to quality health care for both host and displaced communities.”

MSF teams are working in the many wards: from the emergency room and observation room, surgical and obstetric care, delivery with a focus on complicated deliveries, mental health and sexual violence, as well as supporting the various hospital services such as the laboratory and the blood transfusion department.

At the community level, MSF is working to ensure access to healthcare for host communities by deploying outreach teams and community health workers.

The host communities that took in the displaced people have little or nothing to spare, and the services available to them do not meet the needs of the newly arrived.

“Due to its unresolved political status, ASAA remains underfunded and underresourced, with little international attention.

More support is needed from governments as well as humanitarian and development organizations to respond to the critical situation here in ASAA,” Powers explained.

The ASAA hosts some 143,000 people, in addition to tens of thousands of internally displaced people.

In August 2022, photojournalist Christina Simons followed the MSF team in Abyei for two days, documenting the dramatic humanitarian situation in the area and the medical activities carried out by MSF to respond to the needs of the community.

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