By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
September 30, 2011 (BENTIU) - Health officials in Unity state say 10 people have died in a recent increase in Malaria cases. Doctors say that 80 percent of patients in the state’s hospitals suffer from the potentially fatal disease, which is spread by mosquito bites.
- A nurse treats Lino Lual Machar for Malaria at Bentiu China Hospital. 30 September 2011 (ST)
Many people are ignorant of how they can protect themselves from Malaria. But civilians say the government in Unity state is failing to address the issue.
Health clinics and private hospitals in Bentiu, the state capital, report that the children and the elderly are the worst effected.
Doctors, such as Dr William Wang who works at Bentiu China Hospital, describe the situation as very dangerous.
Dr. Wang says that 80 percent of patients have Malaria "because mosquitoes here are so many". He says that patients are advised "to use [a] mosquito net at night in order to keep mosquitoes outside” but many do not.
He seriously urged the civilians to bring those with Malaria to the hospital straight away as some children die before they even reached the hospital.
- Dr Wang Gang in his office at Bentiu China Hospital. 30 September, 2011 (ST)
Lino Lual Machar, who was admitted to Bentiu China Hospital, told Sudan Tribune on Friday that after taking medication he was recovering from a serious case of Malaria. He urged South Sudan’s government to encourage more investment in health care so that people did not have to rely on hospitals like the Bentiu China Hospital ,which is run by the Chinese doctors and nurses.
The hospital is the best in the oil-rich state but as it is private the “poor” are often unable to afford treatment. Bentiu hospital, which is run by the state government lacks equipment and drugs.
Despite being oil-rich South Sudan has not developed as fast as it could have since a 2005 peace deal brought former rebels the SPLM to power due to poor management, lack of skilled workers and corruption.
Shortly before addressing the UN General Assembly last week, South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir announced that there would be a "zero tolerance" to corruption. South Sudan became independent in July.