It sure felt like Christmas for women in Moli-Tokuro when they received a new, UNMISS-funded maternity ward. Photos: Okello James/UNMISS
EASTERN EQUATORIA- The return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes is good news, but with an increased population comes a growing demand for basic services as well. For this reason, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan has funded and handed over a new maternity ward to the communities in the Moli-Tokuro area of Magwi County.
“Seeing this ward standing here is a relief for us women, both here and in neighbouring villages. Before the addition of this new wing, the health facility was not big enough, with male patients sometimes accommodated in the same room where women were giving birth,” said Mandera Rachele Mania, a women’s representative in Moli-Tokuro.
The new building, constructed by the organization Community Needs Initiative, includes a maternity ward, an admission room, consultation and labour rooms as well as three solar-powered staff units.
“Our women used to travel 60 kilometres to access health services like ante- and post-natal care in Nimule, but that will not be necessary anymore. It means a lot to all of us,” said Margret Oliver, Head Chief in the area.
Lodai Pascal Woyakori, State Minister of Health, stressed another advantage of better access to healthcare in this part of Magwi County, a county that has recently been plagued by intercommunal violence between farmers and cattle herders.
“This is also something that is going to bring the communities living here back together, so I consider it as an important development to nurture peace as well,” he said.