Deng-jok Payam decries lack of healthcare services

Deng-jok Payam decries lack of healthcare services
The map of South Sudan highlighting Jonglei State (photo credit: Wikiwand)

The community members of Deng-jok Payam in Akobok County, Jonglei State, have raised concerns over the lack of a health unit in the area.

They lamented that two years down the line, there has been no delivery of health services in the Payam.

“The community has seen the worse, women give birth in their homes under trees and yet we are leaving in an environment with a lot of diseases [where] children might contract the disease from their mothers during birth,” said Polit Gok Waar, a community volunteer in Deng-jok Payam of Akobo County.

“The nearest hospital that we have is over three hours’ walk on foot, and that is Akobok town, and there are rivers to cross for someone to reach there. People have to be carried for two hours and we have seen very horrible cases of people dying on the way before reaching the hospital, ” Waar said.

He said people would not be suffering if there was a functioning health unit in the area.

In a letter addressed to the commissioner of Akobo County on October 28, 2021, the local community youth leaders, women, elders, and the chiefs of Dengjok Payam, called for immediate intervention to address the needs of the community.

“It is self-evident since you once visited Deng-jok Payam that the health facilities have not been operational for a very long time. The residents of Deng-jok Payam have opted to carry their patients to Akobo Referral Hospital, even for minor treatment of injuries, simply because the health facilities are not functioning, ” the community stated.  

According to the letter, the community members stated that in the process of carrying the sick, they have witnessed preventable deaths.

The community blamed a local NGO known as Nile Hope that was in charge of Deng-jok hospital but the organisation failed to maintain the facility.

 “The community has therefore made the unanimous declaration on September 24, 2021, that Nile Hope should no longer be working in Deng-jok Payam PHCC,” they stated.

They also decided that Nile Hope should leave health matters to a more capable humanitarian organization.

 “Our basic understanding of the work of any non-governmental organisation is to provide necessary services where there is a gap and also provide employment opportunities to the host community.” These two conditions prove that Nile Hope has no business with us,” the statement partly says.