Some of the most underserved populations in the former Duk County are the residents of islands in the Nile River. When conflict struck South Sudan in 2013, millions of people were forced from their homes. They settled on a series of islands called Koyoom in the hopes of living off of river fishing.
Many areas of South Sudan are still not safe, and many refugees residing on these islands in the Nile are unable to return home. The conditions on these islands are truly terrible. There are no latrines and sanitation is horrific; as a result, diseases are extremely prevalent. In fact, the John Dau Foundation (JDF) recently treated a cholera outbreak in this location, which is a very deadly disease caused by poor sanitation.
To respond to this health crisis, JDF is making an effort to expand the services it offers. We are providing basic primary care at our nearby facility, as well as nutrition support. We would like to add inpatient and immunization services in order to provide more comprehensive care.
We recently established a presence on one of the Koyoom islands offering nutrition and health services, but we hope to purchase a boat which we will turn into a floating clinic. We are currently able to hire/rent a boat to resupply our staff from Bor, but the area we are attempting to support is comprised of 47 different populated islands over a span of nearly 100 miles on the Nile. This means that reaching these populations with primary care is not feasible without our own craft.
From this boat, we would be able to provide nutrition relief, midwife services and primary care services to Koyoom residents. We would also be able to refer patients who need transportation to a larger facility.
If acquired, this boat will literally be a lifeline for the people of Koyoom who have been without any medical services for almost two years.