UNMISS staff members donate food and clothes at a women’s hospital in Rumbek
Aping Kau, 20, cradles her baby boy born in the early morning hours of Saturday 20 April.
“This is my first child,” says Aping. “I am still waiting for my husband to come and give our son a name.”
Aping gave birth at Kiir Mayardit Women’s Hospital in Rumbek, in the Western Lakes region of South Sudan. The hospital, built with the support of the Chinese government, was inaugurated in July 2014.
Doctors and nurses at this hospital are doing their best to deliver medical services to the women and children of Rumbek and surrounding areas, but they are facing immense challenges. Lack of medical supplies and funding for the hospital means that service delivery is slow and limited.
In an effort to in some way mitigate these dire circumstances, peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), visited the hospital and donated food and essential non-food items to the patients.
The young mother Aping says that she was overwhelmed by the kindness that was shown to her by the UNMISS staff members.
“I am so grateful for the generosity that has been shown to me and my baby,” says Aping Kau.
“I will teach my son to be kind,” she added. “I want him to get a good education and live in a peaceful South Sudan.
“It is our pleasure to come and show our love and support to the people of South Sudan,” said Rebecca Bangura, a welfare officer at the UN Mission’s Field Office in Rumbek. “We are not only here to help build durable peace; we also want to interact with the local community."
Dr. Abraham Apok, Medical Director at Kiir Mayardit Women’s Hospital, said he is hopeful that the partnership between UNMISS and the hospital “will continue to grow”.
“We are very happy that you came to our hospital this morning to share gifts with our patients,” he said.
This was the third visit to the women’s hospital by UNMISS staff, which this time included UN Police, Chinese, Nepalese and Cambodian peacekeepers. Earlier this year, they donated medical supplies and helped to clean the hospital premises.
“The patients are excited. UNMISS staff are excited. Everyone is excited. Today is a good day,” said UNMISS Human Rights Officer, Thandizo Mwambala.