Chinese hospital wins popularity in conflict-torn South Sudan

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/19 7:22:59

Located a stone throw away from South Sudan's Juba airport is the China Friendship Hospital, one of the remaining three medical complexes in operation after the renewed clash last July.

Many South Sudanese have chosen to visit the private hospital manned by Chinese medical experts, South Sudanese and some experienced doctors from the East African region for both non-communicable diseases and complex medical cases.

According to Ma Ning, the director of the hospital, they handle mostly typhoid and malaria cases, but he also takes pride in having conducted in September the first eye operation in South Sudan.

He added that during the violence in 2016, they treated for free many bullet wound cases involving soldiers and civilians caught up in the fighting between government troops (SPLA) and rebels allied to former First Vice President Riek Machar.

"Every month we also get some emergency cases of people without money which we treat," he said of the hospital's social responsibility plan.

"Every year we provide consultancy, medical checkup like scanning and laboratory tests together with treatment at a subsidized price," he added.

Apart from Chinese doctors, the hospital also employs South Sudanese medical practitioners who are not working on fulltime basis, besides an Eritrean and two Ugandans working full time.

Ma disclosed that the hospital has increasingly gained the public trust leading to many people suffering trauma and broken fractures coming to the hospital.

"In Juba many hospitals close early, but we work 24 hours," he said.

Ning said the hospital, despite treating financially-stable people working in humanitarian organizations, oil companies and private companies, is basically a local hospital serving South Sudanese.

John Ladu, 24, a resident of Tomping suburb near the hospital, said he is very happy with the Chinese hospital as it is friendly and not very expensive.

Ning said now they receive patients from as far as Rumbek town in northern Lakes state and Wau located northwest of the capital.

Ma disclosed that one of the challenges they face is the scarcity of medicine in South Sudan, which forces them to import from nearby Uganda.

He also said there are few eye doctors, orthopedic surgeons in South Sudan and yet the demand remains high.

The China Friendship Hospital was built in 2011 after South Sudan gained independence from Sudan. The first branch located at Tomping area opened in March 2012 before other branches opened up.

South Sudan is mired in the ongoing violence since the outbreak in December 2013, which forced many foreign businesses to close.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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