A little respite comes to the sick in Bor, thanks to Korean peacekeepers
Cradling her child close in the rain, Achuei Woui carries her ten-month old baby to a temporary medical camp in Bor town.
The child, Yar Thou, has been sick, and Woui has heard that a medical camp being run by peacekeeping troops from Korea can offer much-needed medical help for her baby to get better.
“My child is very sick, and cannot crawl, and the problem is on the leg, and that is why I brought my baby to the doctor,” says the worried mother.
This mother and child are among a handful others who have braved the cold and rain and are grateful that patients running high fevers can be seen today.
Every two weeks since their deployment to South Sudan in April 2013, peacekeeping troops from the Republic of Korea, have been extending medical care to residents in Bor town. The Korean doctors serve mainly as contingent doctors for the 289-odd Korean peacekeepers who serve as engineers.
Many of those seeking attention today are women, children, and the elderly.
“Majority of the patients have suffered from fever, external injuries and skin diseases,” says
Major Kim Young Ho, the Korean Chief Medical Officer, who is among the three doctors that the contingent has.
To date, the Koreans say 21,000 patients have received medical assistance from these medical camps.
“We find it meaningful and worthwhile seeing patients regaining their health with our help. I hope it will be a big help for local patients gaining from the continuation of our medical services,” says the doctor, Major Kim Young.
The three doctors see an average of 50 patients, every couple of weeks. As part of their medical campaign, the Koreans have also on occasion been able to offer vaccinations to those seeking medical attention.
“It’s a little challenging to be here in South Sudan, but I am happy to help the people here … I am thankful for the opportunity to help the people,” says Major Kim Young, adding, “we have had a chance to get educated about South Sudan.”
The Korean medical camp is part of medical aid provided by United Nations agencies, peacekeepers, and non-governmental organizations working in South Sudan, where the medical sector has been decimated by years of conflict.