In April of this year, Dr. Chuck Radis traveled to the Kiryandongo United Nations Refugee Settlement in northern Uganda where many of our friends in the Kit River region of South Sudan have fled.With the instability in South Sudan, MAPSJ has transferred its operations to the refugee settlement. The 350 children from the Nyolo School are now attending the Bedong Primary School. A PTA has been formed. Robert Owot (our South Sudanese coordinator) has an excellent team with capable leaders in Public Health (Margaret Allo), vocational training (Francis Ocaya), and education (Benson Komakech). The Maine Chapter of the General Federation of Womens Clubs has provided critical assistance with school supplies to the Bedong school and critical financial support for the education of orphans. We are thankful for their support and the ongoing interest of their President, Mary Libby.
Although 2016 saw a deterioration of public services and increased violence in South Sudan, the villages in the Kit River region continued to work in collaboration to maintain health and education. The Maine Chapter of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs partnered with MASPSJ to ensure that every student the opportunity to learn. Their fundraising enabled many of the orphans in the region to attend school for the first time. The well technicians and the traditional birth attendants were more important than ever in the war-torn region.
The Nyolo Hope primary school, the first community school in the Kit River region, now lies empty. Many families have lost loved ones in the civil war and the number of orphans in the Acholi community has risen sharply.
In response to a cholera outbreak in the Kit River Region, MAPSJ partnered with USAID and the county health department to repair local wells in the Kit River Region. The focus of the project was to train and equip local villagers so that well breakdowns can be repaired with local resources and trained technicians. The five-day training program was a success. Five villagers graduated and repaired eleven wells. We are proud of the efforts which the Village Health Organization committed to this important public safety effort.
We have been informed that in 2015, not a single mother was lost in child-birth. We attribute this to the knowledge and talent of the traditional birth attendants who attended our 2012 and 2012 training programs.
MAPSJ was proud to be associated with the opening of the Nyolo Hope Primary School, Partners include the Kit River Village Health Community Organization (comprised of the leaders from Nyolo, Kuwait, Ayii, and Aroo) and the non-profit Aserela. Your support provided a lap-top computer for our South Sudanese coordinator, Robert Owot, and also helped us purchase bicycles for our traditional birth attendants.
Daniel Crothers and Charles Radis DO, returned to South Sudan to provide a 4 day First-Aid program for 50 villagers. Medical students Will Douglas, Sean Lena, and Lindsay Katona from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Dr. Kyle Ratner assisted in teaching the Solo Schools Wilderness Medicine course, and also evaluated basic First-Aid knowledge in our participants both before and after the training. The results of their research were published the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
In 2012, MAPSJ Medical Directors, Daniel Crothers and Dr. Charles Radis, traveled to the Kit River region of South Sudan to coordinate the training of l6 traditional birth attendants (TBA). The women were trained in pre-natal care and recognition of birth complications and received durable medical equipment and a weather resistant pictorial summary of their training developed by the Massachusetts General Hospital.