UNMISS-funded pediatric ward in Ezo gives hope and encouragement to returnees
WESTERN EQUATORIA – “I encourage those who fled their homes to do like me: to come back and rebuild their livelihoods. Our peace partners are supporting us with much-needed services that we can all enjoy. There is no place like home,” affirmed Sarah Jenty, a mother of five who recently returned to reside in Ezo.
“With this new pediatric ward, people can receive adequate treatment instead of the traditional medicines used before,” she added.
The new facilities in Ezo, which include a well-furnished outpatient department, a staff room and a store, have been constructed in the border area where South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo meet. That is a strategic location to fulfill its aim: to support both refugees and internally displaced persons moving back home.
The project, valued at 50,000 US dollars, was funded by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and implemented by the non-governmental Self-Help Development Organization.
Umjuma Charles is proof that not only returnees but also those still displaced from their birthplaces. She fled her village in Tambura following violent conflict in 2021, and now she prefers to stay in Ezo, her adopted home.
“We are happy and feel protected having UNMISS peacekeepers with us, and now we also have this building where our children will be taken care of. We are confident and thrilled that sick kids will get decent treatment,” she said.
Thomas Yeseke, Ezo County Health Director, believes that the pediatric ward will have its intended impact.
“As the peace process continues to advance, more people are likely to return home, where they will benefit from this health facility. We are grateful, and we hope that our peace partners will continue to support us,” he said.
Quick Impact Projects is one way for the peacekeeping mission to assist local communities with low-cost initiatives able to substantially improve their quality of life.
“We are committed to supporting the peace process, which includes the provision of basic services for the South Sudanese, to the best of our ability. Now people here have a clinic and I believe that they will take good care of it for the sake of their families,” stated Anthony Moudie, a Protection, Transition and Reintegration Officer serving with UNMISS.