MSF Report on South Sudan

Author(s): South Sudan Medical Journal

MSF report on South Sudan’s first decade of independence

A recent news item from MSF announces the publication of a new 70-page report ‘South Sudan: The consequences of violence since independence’. Among the health-related consequences noted are:

Deaths from preventable diseases

Violence across the country has disrupted people’s access to healthcare, including routine vaccination, while increasing the risk of disease transmission and food insecurity. There have been repeated failures to ensure dignified living conditions for people in refugee camps and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) sites. Instead, people fleeing conflict and violence have, over and again, been forced to live in deplorable conditions – with basic requirements for living space, water and sanitation unmet, far below the minimum emergency thresholds for survival. 

At its worst, MSF has recorded three to five children a day dying from preventable diseases – such as malaria – in different refugee camps and protection of civilian sites. Meanwhile, people forced to live in the open, in the bush and swamps, have repeatedly been exposed to disease and extreme hunger.

In some areas, conflict has brought a resurgence of kala azar, the world’s second-largest parasitic disease. There has also been measles, hepatitis C and cholera outbreaks, among others.

Mental health 

Millions of people in South Sudan have been repeatedly exposed to traumatic events. MSF has witnessed increases in suicide attempts and has worked with patients coping with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Health care

The impact of protracted conflict and repeated humanitarian crises in South Sudan is worsened by a weak, chronically underfunded healthcare system, destroyed in many areas and largely neglected in others. In 2020, of approximately 2,300 health facilities, more than 1,300 were non-functional. Fewer than half (44 percent) of the total population and just 32 percent of internally displaced people live within five kilometres of a functional health facility.

Read the full report at