No more darkness: Bor hospital now has solar lamps, thanks to UNMISS Indian peacekeepers

7 Jun 2019

No more darkness: Bor hospital now has solar lamps, thanks to UNMISS Indian peacekeepers

Gideon Sackitey

Abraham Lier has seen enough pitch-black nights at Bor Hospital, where he has worked for a while.

“Moving around in between wards and sections was risky and emergencies at night was like groping in the dark,” says Abraham, standing outside Bor’s only functioning public health facility – the Bor State Hospital.

Abraham and colleagues could therefore not hide their excitement, as they applauded continuously when the Jonglei Minister of Health pressed the knob to light the lamps.

“Today, the darkness that hampered effective work has given way to light,” declared an elated Abraham, following the installation of 16 mass-usage community solar panels by the Indian Battalion of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

And with that, the darkness around the health facility, which has been a course of great worry for both hospital staff and patients, is no more.

“Bor hospital environs will be better lit and staff and patients can conveniently move about with their critically needed services,” noted Rachael Amuor Pach, Jonglei Minister of Health.

“It is very appropriate as it provides a solution to the problems which doctors here face when emergency cases happen at night,” she added, stressing that “several equipment, including lights at strategic locations in the hospital, were destroyed during and after the war in 2013.”

The lamps, whose purchase was funded by individual contributions from the Indian troops, are located at the emergency and critical care area, maternity, pediatric ward, and logistics areas.

Less than 1% of South Sudan has access to electricity from the national grid.

“I am very happy that today we have outdoor lights in this hospital. It makes our work safe and secure. It also ensures that people who engage in criminal activities around the hospital cannot do that again,” said Lier.

“Women who are in labour at night can easily come to the hospital, move around and not be afraid of being attacked or robbed,” a lady nearby chipped in.