Families in the village of Pure, Central Equatoria State in southern South Sudan, struggled to access vital healthcare services. Now, thanks to the opening of a new healthcare facility, their lives have been transformed.
Health services in Pure used to be provided through outreach clinics, conducted twice a month. Outside of these times, residents were forced to travel over 19 kilometres to the health facility in neighbouring Karijo village. To add to their concerns, the journey took patients on bumpy and unstable roads leading to their health deteriorating further en route. Many residents were so reluctant to make the journey they simply chose not to seek medical attention.
Increasing Healthcare Needs
Recent tribal conflict in Karijo displaced over 30,000 people. Many sought refuge across the border in nearby Uganda, while others moved to Pure village. The sudden increase in population caused a surge in demand for primary healthcare, with the only facility in Karijo now out of reach due to the conflict. Thankfully, with support from GOAL, through EU Humanitarian Aid, the community set up a full-time health outreach clinic in the local primary school in Pure.
‘’Thanks be to God for the health services in our time of need,” said one of the community members, Captain Mure Samuel, Commander of Pure military barracks, during a community feedback meeting.
When the nearby conflict began to ease, many people from Karijo returned to the area from refugee camps in Uganda but settled in the relative safety of Pure village. As a result, demand for health services increased beyond the capacity of the outreach clinic.
Working Together for Change
The community suggested that GOAL consider constructing a health facility to serve the increasing need for primary healthcare and to help save lives. The community also pledged to join in the construction works.
“We as a community joined in the construction and mobilised local resources. GOAL agreed to partner with us and pay for the roofing materials and building contractor,’’ says village elder, Sokiri Charles Bojo.
GOAL also provided medicine and medical equipment. Working together, the community of Pure and GOAL established the Pure Primary Healthcare Unit (PHCU), the first permanent healthcare facility in the area.
‘’We are so happy with the great job GOAL has done in helping us with the construction of this health facility, to support and save the lives of vulnerable people,” says Village Chief, Moses Sworo.
A Dream Come True
At the opening ceremony for the facility, local leader, Ms. Pita Rose Gune, spoke of the impact the new health facility will have. She encouraged mothers to visit the facility for antenatal care. She also spoke of her dream coming true by witnessing a child being born at the facility.
“Since I was born, no woman has given birth in a health facility in Pure village, as no static facility has existed. Now that has all changed,” she says with pride.