Christine Bimansha, a medical doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is one of the experienced emergency staff working with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in South Sudan. She is currently working at a camp in the capital, Juba, where 35,000 people have gathered to seek safety following a wave of violence. Here, she describes the climate of fear in the camp and the considerable health risks.
“I am currently working in an MSF mobile clinic in a United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) camp in Juba—this is the UN camp where a lot of people have gathered, probably 15,000 people.
Another 20,000 are gathered in another UN camp in the city, about 35,000 people in total. The population density in the camps is very high—our field coordinator calculated that it is up to ten times more than Mumbai.
The situation in Juba is back to a relative calm for the moment. We can move. Even if there is a curfew we can move around, but for the national people, people from the Nuer community in particular, they’re scared to go out. Even in the UN camp, especially the men, they don’t move out. The women will go in and out, but only during the day.