Providing maternal and child healthcare services in rural areas
Describe the need affecting community
The Buckeye Clinic was formed in 2010 to meet the needs of maternal and child health and other health needs in the Piol village of South Sudan. In late 2019, the need for a 12-bed patient dorm/infirmary was identified. Construction was completed in early 2020. In July 2020, the Piol village was attacked twice by a rival tribe. Eleven people were killed, 1,800 cattle were stolen, and over 190 homes were looted and burned! The immediate needs changed. Locations for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were set in the state capital, Bor, for the 3,000 people who fled the village. The immediate need was food and medicines which the Buckeye Clinic provided. Then in August 2020, the dyke holding back the White Nile River broke and flooded the entire village. The remaining population (3,500 people) of the village, and all clinic equipment and supplies, were evacuated by boat to the federal capital, Juba. In September 2020, due to additional flooding, both populations of IDPs were transferred to a new IDP camp in Central Equatoria State. Many of the Buckeye Clinic staff have joined the villagers in the IDP camps and continued to provide medical services. The Paramount Chief has asked the Buckeye Clinic for assistance with food and medicines. The needs of these IDPs will be evaluated on an ongoing basis to determine the best way to provide assistance. It is anticipated that food and medicines will continue to be a major need, but other unforeseen needs may arise.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
The Buckeye Clinic will address the needs of the villagers in the new Internally Displaced Persons camp by providing food and medicines when needed. When the clinic compound can again be used after the dyke is repaired, the new patient dorm will accommodate up to 12 patients. In 2020, funds from the Advance will purchase and deliver food and medicines to the Internally Displaced Persons camp. Funds from the advance will also assist with the cost of construction of the patient dorm/infirmary.
Describe the primary goal of the project
To improve maternal and child health in the Piol area. The long-term impact will be healthier women and children. In the short term, the goal will be to assist with food and medicines in the new IDP camp.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
The Buckeye Clinic began supporting the Piol community Primary Health Care Unit (PHCU) in 2011 with the installation of a solar energy system that powered a refrigerator to store vaccines. Three vaccinators were hired and began vaccinating children from preventable diseases. Two years later, the Ministry of Health assumed responsibility for the salaries of these vaccinators. In 2017, The Buckeye Clinic hired three medical professionals and three support staff. With the addition of these trained medical staff, the PHCU would be eligible for an upgrade to a Primary Health Care Center (PHCC) which is the next level below a hospital. This would make the clinic eligible for additional support from the Ministry of Health, including increased medicines. The village requested and achieved this upgrade in April 2018. A Village Health Committee was organized and trained by the Physician’s Assistant. As this committee grows in their understanding of administering health care, they will be better prepared to be an advocate for health care in the village. The change we would like to see as a result of this Advance Project is that the federal government, through the Ministry of Health, recognize the value of an increased level of health care in the village and take over responsibility of paying these staff salaries.