Peacekeepers host free medical camp in Juba

15 Feb 2012

Peacekeepers host free medical camp in Juba

14 February 2012 - As part of its efforts to draw closer to the community, the UNMISS Bangladesh Military Medical Battalion held a camp today at Gumbo village, in the South Sudanese capital of Juba.

A high-level Bangladeshi government delegation led by Gowher Rizvi, Advisor and Special Representative of the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, currently on a four-day mission to South Sudan, visited the medical camp in Rajaf Payam.

"We are not only here to fulfill our UN mandate, this is of course our primary task," said Mr. Rizvi. "During their spare moments using their own time, their own resources, (the Bangladeshi peacekeepers) try to make themselves more useful to the community."

Some 232 patients, mostly children and women, turned out for treatment. The patients received free consultation as well as medicine donated by the World Health Organization and Bangladeshi medical battalion.

An additional 365 children received de-worming and vitamin A pills.

"We know that the health infrastructure is not very developed," said UNMISS Bangladeshi Level II Hospital Commanding Officer Colonel Syed Iftekhar. "We have arranged this free medical camp to support the local village people, who have limited access to medical care."

Bangladeshi Surgical Specialist Lieutenant Colonel Masroor Hassan said he had treated headaches, stomach aches, malnutrition, infected wounds and other ailments.

"We have come to help," Lt. Col. Masroor Hassan said. "I am seeing all the patients who have come with normal problems as well as the ones with surgical problems."

The medical team planned to identify patients in need of surgical treatment and refer them to the UNMISS Level II Hospital.

Flora Abuni, a mother of two, said she had brought her hearing-afflicted three-year old son for a checkup and to seek treatment for her headaches and coughing. "It is good because the hospital is too far. From Gumbo up to Juba you need transport."

The Bangladeshi contingent is one of the oldest UN peacekeeping forces and among the first to come to South Sudan. "Our plan is to continue such medical support programmes in nearby villages," said Maj. Gen. Iftekhar.