Easter Equatoria State, News

Wildfire robs Ikwotos of critical health services

By Ijoo Bosco


The only Primary Healthcare Unit (PHCC) in Ngaluma village, Ikwoto County, Eastern Equatoria State has been destroyed by fire.

Over 7,550 residents are left at risk of facing a critical shortage of medication and healthcare services.

According to local authorities, a 70-year-old resident, Oreste Lobalu, accidentally set fire to his farmland while clearing brush, and the flames spread to the nearby PHCC, burning down the entire structure and destroying all medical supplies within.

This incident has left the community without immediate access to essential medications and healthcare services, raising concerns about their well-being in case of medical emergencies.

Elizabeth Kiden, a resident of Ngaluma village, expressed her despair at the situation.

“We are left with no options as there is no other health facility nearby except the main Ikwoto facility, which is too far away,” she said.

She further highlighted that the PHCC was built entirely by the community without any assistance from the government or health partners.

“This grass-thatched facility served thousands of people in Ngaluma,” she said. “Losing it to this fire leaves us deeply worried about how we will cope with health emergencies.”

Another resident, Mr. Taban Alberio Lawrence, expressed sadness and criticized the responsible payam health officials for not maintaining the cleanliness of the PHCC’s surroundings.

He urged the state government and health partners to provide immediate support in rebuilding the facility and ensuring access to medication for the villagers.

The paramount chief of Ikwoto County, Joseph Odongi, confirmed the incident and reported the arrest of the individual suspected of starting the fire.

“The arrested individual is currently in police custody for further investigation and legal proceedings,” he said.

Lope Joseph Idwangai, the Ikwoto County health director, confirmed the destruction of various essential medications, including antibiotics, painkillers, and antimalarial drugs.

He appealed to the state government and health organizations to swiftly intervene by constructing a standard PHCC in Ngaluma to restore healthcare services for the marginalized community in this remote village.


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