South Sudan

An MSF staff member examines the head injury of a girl called Nyamach at a hospital in Ulang, in northeast South Sudan. © Igor Barbero/MSF



outpatient consultations


malaria cases treated


people admitted to hospital

After more than six years of conflict that has displaced over 4 million people, 2019 saw a period of peace in South Sudan. But less than half the population has access to adequate medical services.

Most medical care in South Sudan is delivered by non-governmental organizations such as MSF, as only 2.6 per cent of the government’s budget is allocated to health. For many communities, treatment is often difficult to reach or non-existent.

MSF worked in 19 projects across South Sudan in 2019. Activities ranged from treating gunshot wounds in Agok and providing comprehensive medical care in Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites, to vaccinating children against deadly diseases such as measles and ensuring Ebola preparedness at the border with Democratic Republic of Congo.

Nearly one million people were affected by unprecedented heavy flooding, which began in July. In October, the government declared a national state of emergency. Thousands of people were displaced, including many of our local colleagues. In Pibor, one of the worst affected areas, our health centre was submerged and destroyed. MSF set up a temporary tented facility to provide critical care in Pibor, and set up mobile clinics in affected communities where we work. We also worked to provide adequate water and sanitation resources.

In 2019, malaria remained a major health concern in South Sudan. We treated 292,100 adults and children and ran prevention and awareness-raising activities in nearly all our projects. Strategies included distributing mosquito nets and implementing new outreach methods.

In April, we reopened our maternal, emergency and reproductive services, closed in 2016 due to repeated attacks on MSF patients and staff. In the first month alone, we treated 300 people, including more than 100 pregnant women.

An estimated 1.5 million people are internally displaced in South Sudan, as well as nearly 300,000 refugees from neighbouring Sudan. In 2019, we offered medical assistance and distributed relief items to refugees and displaced people across the country.

MSF managed a hospital in both the Benitu and Malakal United Nations PoC sites. These sites offer protection to vulnerable people who would otherwise be exposed to armed violence. The humanitarian needs here are high due to poor living conditions, ongoing violence and mental trauma.

In Bentiu, the largest PoC site in South Sudan with over 100,000 people, we provided specialist healthcare, surgery and emergency services for adults and children in our 160-bed hospital. At our 55-bed hospital in Malakal PoC, we offered a range of general and specialist services, including mental healthcare.

Our 80-bed hospital in Lankien also provided obstetric and pediatric care, nutritional support and treatment for HIV, TB and kala azar. Treatment for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, which is integrated into all our projects in South Sudan, was also available.