November 1, 2011 (TORIT) - The deputy governor of Eastern Equatoria state, Nartisio Loluke Manir, on Friday called upon his community to stop seeking medical assistance from witch doctors but rather go the health centers for treatment.
- Deputy governor of Eastern Equatoria state Nartisio Loluke Manir, Oct. 28, 2011 (ST)
“So many of our people in the villages are suffering from diseases that could have been treated in the early stages at the medical facilities, but they instead go to witchdoctors for treatment who often treat them, thus leading to the death of many of the patients,” said Loluke.
He called upon health workers to observe ethical standards in the execution of their duties.
“Sometimes when you go the health facilities in the rural areas, you will find no single staff on duty. Some of the patients become even sicker because no health worker is there to attend to them,” he said.
Speaking at the handover of four new vehicles to state authorities by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), he said his government will prioritise the development of health institutions to ensure that health services reach to people in remote areas.
“Our health institutions have not developed to the level where every citizen has access to health services at a walking distance. It’s the strategy of the government to ensure that this is achieved in the long run,” Loluke told Sudan Tribune.
The project, which will focus on Budi, Lopa/Lafon, Ikwoto, and Kapoeta East counties, is funded by the Multi-Donor Trust Fund, which is administered by the World Bank.
Loluke thanked NPA for their support, which he noted had begun during South Sudan’s two-decade civil war. As part of a 2005 agreement South Sudan voted to secede from north Sudan in January, and in July became the world’s youngest nation.
“We acknowledge the support of NPA has given us since the difficult days of the struggle for liberation. We shall not forget the organisation for the good work it has done in the country. We still request for more support as we embark on reconstruction of the country,” said Loluke.
South Sudan is one of the least developed countries in the world with conflict and underinvestment blighting the region.
Deputy team leader of the health project, Abe Gordon Abias, said county health department staff had been trained how to use information systems that would improve the efficiency of their work.
He said the project procured and installed solar panels for lighting, supplied computers, office furniture and connected internet facilities at County Health Department’s in the eight counties of the state.
Gordon said four more vehicles are being procured for the remaining four counties.