UN military providing essential services for Bor IDPs

24 Feb 2014

UN military providing essential services for Bor IDPs

24 February 2014 - The UNMISS Indian and South Korean militaries have been providing vital medical, security and engineering services to displaced people in the Jonglei State capital Bor.

With more than 5,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) still sheltering at the UNMISS base, their work is desperately needed to curb congestion and prepare for looming rains.

When violence broke out, four Indian doctors treated civilians at the contingent’s clinic and protection of civilians’ area. They referred all serious casualties to the South Korean battalion’s hospital.

“We treated many civilian patients with gunshot wounds at the beginning,” said Dr. Ni Jin Uk, “Now we are treating many babies and pregnant women.”

At the Korean contingent’s hospital, which was set up for contingent soldiers and other UNMISS staff, several mothers were sitting with lactating babies, receiving attention from medical personnel.

Children were especially at risk, as diseases like measles and diarrhoea spread rapidly through the protection of civilian’s area, Dr. Ni said.

Although the facility was mainly intended for adult patients, it had children’s drugs for medical outreach in communities, even before the conflict began. Some UN agencies and non-governmental organizations have since assisted it with more medical supplies.

Also equipped with an emergency operating room, digital x-ray scan machine, blood testing laboratory, ultrasound equipment and dental care room, the hospital can treat all categories of patients.

“We don’t mind who they are,” said Dr. Ni. “We treat all patients (as long as) they are human.”

Both contingents have also carried out construction work at the protection of civilians’ area.

The Indian battalion, for example, expanded the current protection of civilians’ area from 200 by 150 metres to 500 by 500 metres. It also built five security posts around the perimeter, which the Korean engineering unit helped to reinforce.

The two contingents worked together to set up additional water points and latrines. Currently, the South Koreans are clearing grounds for a temporary new site ahead of the rains.