Giving visually impaired people the gift of sight
‘My heart is full of joy. I can see my family members and even the girl who used to help me around. I thank God for the people who made it possible for the cataract camp to come to Yei.’
– Joyce, cataract patient
In South Sudan, we partner with Martha Primary Health Care Clinic in Yei, in the south-west of the country.
Poverty in South Sudan is extreme, with just one doctor per 100,000 people. With less than 100 kilometres of tarmac in the whole country, access to basic healthcare is highly challenging, and one in seven mothers die of pregnancy-related causes.
Owned and run by the Episcopal Church of South Sudan’s Diocese of Yei, Martha Clinic is well-established and highly respected locally. It provides a range of much-needed services including therapeutic feeding, TB and HIV support, and a vital child immunisation programme.
Once nearly self-sustaining, Martha Clinic has been hit hard by hyperinflation, meaning few people can now afford to pay for healthcare. The roads around Yei are not safe to travel, so medical supplies must be transported under armed convoy. When this becomes too dangerous, they have to be flown in. This reduced income and increased cost means Martha Clinic is urgently in need of MAI’s support to maintain the lifeline it provides to local people.
A special cataract surgery camp was held recently which delivered life-transforming operations for 130 patients, and assessments for a further 500 people.
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Romogi Primary Health Care Centre was completed in early 2017 and was the vision of Anthony Poggo, former Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kajo Keji. Two weeks before its opening, however, fierce inter-tribal conflict forced local people to flee to neighbouring Uganda for safety. We are monitoring the situation and remain in contact with Kajo Keji Diocese staff currently living under refugee status in Uganda.
When it can open again, the Primary Health Care Clinic will serve at least 25,000 people in the town and surrounding villages.
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