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Working round the clock to meet the needs of refugees in South Sudan

 

In under two weeks, International Medical Corps has provided more than 1,900 health consultations at a health post in Yusuf Batil refugee camp in Upper Nile State, South Sudan. Here, a rapidly rising South Sudanese refugee population is facing urgent health, nutrition and disease prevention needs, as conflict and hunger in neighboring Blue Nile State of Sudan continues to drive people across the border. Malnutrition levels are alarmingly high among refugees, the majority of them women and children. Many also have medical needs – the most common conditions among the refugee population continue to be diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, and eye infections.

The newly established Yusuf Batil camp in Maban County has grown from 6,000 people to more than 34,000 people in recent days, with a projected total of 40,000. International Medical Corps has been providing health services to arrivals from transit camp KM 18, including acute malnutrition screenings for children under 5 years of age. In the coming days, International Medical Corps’ emergency response team will work to reinforce Yusuf Batil’s health post with additional staff, sanitation services and trained community health workers.

Refugees are transported on trucks from KM 18 transit camp to Yusuf Batil refugee camp

 

Due to incessant rains in Maban County, nearby Jamam refugee camp has flooded, prompting the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to establish two new camps, Batil 2 and 3 for the more than 32,000 refugees to be transferred from Jamam. UNHCR has asked International Medical Corps to focus on health and nutrition in Batil 2 and 3, which will start receiving refugees in two weeks. International Medical Corps will be the only health agency at these sites, which will include 2 health clinics, 5 oral rehydration points, an outpatient therapeutic programme and supplementary feeding programme, a 25-bed cholera treatment unit, 150 latrines, and a community health promoter programme.

In the coming days, International Medical Corps’ emergency response team will continue to treat refugees at the Yusuf Batil health post and prepare to respond to the needs of the incoming refugees from Jamam. To mitigate the spread of communicable diseases, which can be exacerbated by over-congestion in the camps and Maban County’s severe rainy season, International Medical Corps has planned hygiene promotion and cholera preparedness activities. International Medical Corps also intends to work with partners to support survivors of gender-based violence.

  

Haiti

Just 22 hours after the devastating 7.0-earthquake hit in January 2010, International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team was on the ground in Haiti providing medical care to survivors. Our doctors and nurses were able to mobilise on an unparalleled scale to provide 24-hour emergency care to the acutely injured at the Hôpital de l’Université d’État d’Haiti (HUEH), a 700-bed hospital in Port-au-Prince. HUEH was badly damaged in the earthquake and many local health care professionals were missing. We were able to save thousands of lives through emergency and trauma care in the critical days following the earthquake.

At the height of emergency operations at the hospital, International Medical Corps treated approximately 1,000 patients per day. Our early entry also gave us the foundation to rapidly expand our operations to 15 mobile clinics throughout Haiti to provide critical services. Through the hospital and mobile and fixed clinics, International Medical Corps teams provided more than 110,000 patient consultations during the first year following the emergency.

When reports of acute diarrhoea emerged from the north of Haiti in October 2010, International Medical Corps doctors and nurses immediately deployed to the region providing emergency relief for the growing cholera crisis. Our network of rapidly constructed cholera treatment centres, supported by 820 community health volunteers to educate communities on how to prevent and identify cholera, meant that more than 30,000 cholera patients received life-saving treatment within the first year following the outbreak.

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Libya

Libya ambulanceInternational Medical Corps was among the first organisations to enter Libya once the conflict began in February 2011, providing emergency medical care to casualties from the fighting and support to hospitals with medical staff and supplies. Among the first challenges our Emergency Response Teams encountered was a chronic shortage of nurses, as thousands of foreign nurses had fled the country. In partnership with the Jordan Health Aid Society, International Medical Corps immediately deployed volunteer nurses to health centres across eastern Libya moving them to towns and cities throughout the country as access permitted. Volunteer nurses trained the local counterparts while working alongside them.

At the country’s borders and within Libya, we supplied those displaced by the fighting with essential relief items, including blankets, bottled water and food. Recognising the danger posed by communicable diseases, our sanitation and hygiene specialists constructed latrines and washing stations in transit camps along the Tunisia borders.

Libya 5As the fighting went on International Medical Corps worked as close to the front line as possible, providing emergency treatment to those injured in the conflict, and medicines and supplies to besieged towns and cities. In Misurata, inaccessible by road, we evacuated nearly 500 injured civilians by boat. International Medical Corps’ mobile field hospitals treated the wounded from battles in Tripoli, the Western Mountains, Bani Walid, Sabha, Jufrah and Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte.

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Mali

Mali - villagerInternational Medical Corps mobilized an emergency response in Mali in January 2013 after rebel armed forces from the north began moving south, triggering French military intervention. In Timbuktu, which had spent months under the control of armed Islamist rebel our team were amongst the first international organisations to arrive and found pillaged clinics, missing medical personnel and damaged health infrastructure.

We immediately began supporting eight strategically targeted health clinics in remote areas around Timbuktu, where the Malian Ministry of Health has been unable to maintain adequate services to local communities. By providing medicines, training staff and recruiting qualified doctors and nurses, we can ensure local people will now have access to basic primary and secondary health care for the first time in months

Mali-Road-to-TimbuktuTrue to our mission to build self reliance, International Medical Corps is also already training community health workers to go out to local markets and spread essential hygiene, reproductive health and nutrition messages. We are also working to rehabilitate clinics damaged during the conflict, by building or repairing latrines, water systems, solar panel systems and other infrastructure repairs, enabling health workers to have stable and well-equipped facilities to help the people of Mali.

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Basanti & Bishal's story

Basanti, a young mother of two in Nepal, returned home from fetching water for her family to find her 8-month old son Bishal had fallen into the open cooking fire. Basanti was in shock, but she wrapped her baby in blankets and ran for help. No one in their village or at the local health post knew what to do so she had to travel more than six hours by bus to seek emergency care at the closest hospital. The district hospital could only stabilize Bishal and wasn’t able to treat his wounds properly. As a result, his little fingers contracted into a fist as the burned skin contracted and “healed” over the coming year, making it impossible for him to use his hand. His cheek, lips and eyelid also contracted and tightened, threatening his vision.

After selling part of their farm to pay for transportation to Kathmandu, Basanti sought further treatment for her baby. However, two hospitals in the nation’s capital could not help either. Adding to Basanti’s struggles, her husband abandoned the family, leaving her alone to care for Bishal and his four-year-old sister.

Thankfully, Basanti heard about the surgical care available through ReSurge International, our trusted partner with a 43-year history of serving burn victims. Dr. Rai, ReSurge’s Outreach Director in Nepal, and his team restored Bishal’s eyelid and his hand will soon be surgically repaired as well.

Even though it took more than a year for him to get appropriate treatment, Bishal is one of the lucky ones. Thousands of children never get the care they need to live a normal life after a disabling burn.

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Our impact through training in 2012

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Our Mother Care Group Approach

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Read more about our community based approach to prevention and treatment of malnutrition

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