Since the first armed clashes broke out in Juba on 15 December, tens of thousands of civilians have fled in search of safety. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the South Sudan Red Cross are helping those caught up in the fighting.
"We’re dealing with a rapidly evolving and highly volatile situation,” said Melker Mabeck, ICRC head of delegation in Juba. “Reports of targeted killings of civilians are alarming. We call upon all parties to spare civilians in all circumstances." The Red Cross are carrying on with their humanitarian work and caring for the wounded on all sides, but there are concerns about the capacity of medical facilities to cope with the influx of the wounded.
From the very beginning of the crisis, the ICRC has been supporting the main hospitals in Juba. The organisation has provided wound-dressing kits, medicines and other medical supplies to treat at least 500 people. It has also delivered 25,000 liters of clean water to one of Juba’s main hospitals and has set up three tents to increase space for patient wards.
Efforts have been focused on boosting the capacity of local hospitals to treat wounded patients. A surgical team is now based in one of Juba’s main hospitals, performing round-the-clock surgeries. Additionally, Red Cross volunteers are administering first aid, dressing wounds and providing general assistance (such as moving patients and cleaning) in two of Juba’s main hospitals.
The medical team based in Malakal is operating on weapon-wounded patients following fighting in the city. Another team is supporting the local hospital in Bentiu, working particularly with the local surgeon to treat the influx of people wounded in the fighting in the surrounding area. Medicines and other general and specialised medical supplies to treat up to 250 weapon-wounded patients in Bentiu.
Picture: Volunteers from South Sudan Red Cross train regularly in first aid response. Enabling them to assist those who are ill or injured. The volunteers pictured are takig part in a training excersise. © J.Cernius, IFRC