By Matia Samuel Timatio
Health authorities in Western Equatoria State are raising an alarm to the National and State governments over a deteriorating healthcare service provision in the State as health partners pull out their support over funding shortfalls.
The State Minister of Health, James Abdullahi Arona saidthe State has run out of drugs as most health facilities are being cut off by the health partners leaving communities in a grave danger.
The minister disclosed the worrying health crisis in the State via a telephone interview with No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper.
James Abdullahi Arona said partners who were supporting the health section such as HPF who were in charge of funding to the health partners in order to implement health projects in the State have decided to cut off some health facilities due to lack of funds.
“The affected areas in the State are Maridi County where fifteen primary health care units were cut off and since that time no health service delivery to that community and the decision was not taken according to the geographical areas which were not right, Ibba County six primary healthcare facilities were also cut off including an area called Moruko 50 miles from the main town, there is no any support in that place or not even clinic which has affected most of the populations in some parts of the State like Mundri East, Nzara and in Yambio where people are now suffering from diseases,” the minister recounted the dire health situation.
He reiterated that the health facilities are closed, and it leave communities vulnerable because they are not able to get any medical support.
He also said the State’s main referral hospital has been hit hard by shortages of water and power at the moment.
“In Yambio Civil Hospital there is no light even supply of water is a problem and the other thing which has affected the health delivery in the State is lack of fund because services which were rendered by the partners did not put into consideration the manpower. Government salaries are low compared to the NGOs you find that most people don’t want to work in the government,” he underlined.
The minister stressed that there is need for quick response by health partners to supply state with drugs to rescue the suffering communities.
“The immediate thing we want the partners to support is the supply of drugs which is very important because when we visited the western counties of the State there are much complains about insufficient supply of drugs to the health facilities. We want the partners who are taking care of the facilities to improve their work so that the health facilities and the community can be happy and again we request the Hon Minister of Health at National Government to call the partners concern so that the policy that was signed in favoring the deduction of health units to be revisited in order to improve the health of the people,” Abdallahi further urged.
The minister revealed that the most common diseases affecting people in the State are malaria, diarrhea and vomiting because of the rainy season.
“My call to the people of Western Equatoria is that I request our people to be calm and wait because we are working hard with the State government so that we can discuss with our partners and minister of health at national level to support us with drugs and to give instructions to the partners so that they can work according to the principle of health in taking care of people who are sick. We want the National Minister to work on the salary structure of the staff of health so that they can work well,” Abdullahi hinted.