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.
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.