Medical Aid for the Nuba People

Since 1 ½ years our male nurse Johannes Plate lives and works in our project in the Nuba mountains. Here, in a team with German and local colleagues, he takes care of patients in the hospital in Lwere, where Cap Anamur provides medical aid to the Nuba people since 1997. For these people, living in a region between Sudan and the meanwhile independent South Sudan, war belongs to the day to day life. The strained safety situation contributes to a non sufficient medical care in this remote area. Cap Anamur therefore started 17 years ago to establish a medical care network besides the operation of the hospital, where day by day 60 stationary and 200 ambulatory patients are treated. The network consists of five medical stations in an area of 100 kilometers around the hospital. Thus we can assist people who cannot make it to the hospital.

Once in a month Cap Anamur delivers medicines and material to the five posts. “Normally in a station two nurses and one midwife work together to provide all medical basic assistance as well as the most important emergency treatments” Johannes Plate reports. “To the next hospital it often takes several day walks- not doable for sick and old people. Furthermore during rain period walkways and path are flooded and there are no possibilities for transport.” In recent moth Johannes visited the five stations for several weeks in order to educate the employees theoretically and practically on anamnesis, types of illnesses and wound care as well in English language. “It was very helpful that I can speak Arabian quite well meanwhile” the 31 year old man from Rostock, Germany tells us.

Expansion of the network of medical stations 

Besides the training this trips were used to enlarge our help: A fifth station was implemented: “The Ard Kanan village is located north of the Lwere hospital. Since July we here support a small local hospital which is in need of renovation.” Johannes Plate reports. “For the time being it has only 8 to 10 beds, after renovation we will be able to provide stationary treatment for up to 20 patients.”  Due to the ailing circumstances not all buildings could be used. Nevertheless the crew took all efforts to keep operations going. For example daily consulting hours are held for adults and children. As Ard Kanan, surrounded by a lot of small villages, is located in a very populated area, there is a great need for medical care. In a circle of 60 kilometers there is no other medical institution.

In these days our team starts to repair the roofs and install electricity.In August we furthermore rebuilt the Health center in Nyukur/Koalib. Here we will increase our involvement, because this station is the most north one and only 12 kilometers away from the conflict line.

“This is why we have to take care of wounded people almost daily. In addition we were overrun by patients suffering from malaria, pneumonia or severe skin diseases, as there is no basic medical care institution in this area since years and it takes several days to reach the next hospital, while it is dangerous to make such trips” Johannes Plate tells us. This medical station with four Tokuls, the traditional clay hut with thatched roofs, and one main building were in a desolate condition. Till the next rain season our team will repair the station and install electric light and sufficient beds for patients.

Live with the Nubas

Working at the stations our team receives a lot of support: “The cooperation within the community is impressive” Johannes Plate reports, who lived with the village people during the whole project period. “Everybody helped out. We commonly erected a fence, repaired the roofs and dug deep holes in the ground, so called foxholes, to give shelter to patients and team members when bombing takes place.  I lived under the same circumstances like the people here, with the same obstacles, without electric power and internet, far away from connecting axis. I have run many, many kilometers. And sometimes for days the only food was rice and sesame seeds. However: For me it was a rewarding time, especially because of the cordiality of the Nuba. And I am curiously looking forward to the upcoming month, when I well continue my work at the stations!”