Graça Machel

Preventing the conflicts of tomorrow means changing the mind-set of youth today.- Graça Machel

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Exercising Oversight over a Medical Facility in South Sudan

20-21 October 2015

A Health Center in South Sudan.

A Health Center in South Sudan.

Mukaya Payam, South Sudan- As a part of AWEPA’s programme “South Sudan National Legislative Assembly (SSNLA) and Local Councils”, the council members of the Lainya County in Central Equatoria State, in conjunction with AWEPA, organised an outreach visit to the Rolonyo Medical Health Care Centre in Mukaya Payam,  from 20-21 October 2015.

The main purpose of the outreach was to review the conditions of the health centre, learn about the common diseases affecting the people, and discover whether the services rendered at the centre were appropriate to the health challenges of the area. The Council also used the outreach to exercise its oversight over the government institution as well as interacting with the members of the community.

Participants included legislative councillors, the Payam Administrator, the Executive Chief of the area, youth and women representatives, the clergy, teachers, the medical staff of the primary health centre, members of the public and the AWEPA team. In order to gather as much data as possible, the councillors used presentations and observation; questions and answers; brainstorming; interviews; filming; recording; photographing and note taking.

At the time of the outreach, it was found that the medical centre had run out of essential drugs, while the challenge of poor road coupled with the national acute shortage of fuel made the situation worse. Other challenges for the medical centre included among others: the lack of water because the centre has no source of water; inadequate space as the centre used only one room for admissions and delivery of pregnant mothers; lack of power and light; lack of hospital beds; lack of accountability for the money raised from cost sharing; delayed payment of medical staff salaries and allowances; inadequate awareness of the public about family planning and routine vaccination for children under five years. The councillors lifted the spirits of the people and promised that they would present the issues to the commissioner so that they are addressed.

Following the outreach, a council session was convened. The councillors deliberated on the issues raised during the outreach and passed resolutions aimed at bringing the issues to an end.