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MSF evacuates its medical team over insecurity in Pibor

Patients at the inpatient department of MSF's clinic in Pibor. Photo/MSF

The medical charity, MSF, says it has been forced to evacuate part of its team and reduce activities in Pibor

in Buma State after a robbery at its clinic.

In a statement, the charity says two of its workers were injured when a group of between six and ten unidentified gunmen entered the facility and stole office equipment, including phones and computers yesterday.

According to the statement, the MSF clinic in Pibor is a 37-bed medical facility where the charity manages the outpatient department, the inpatient ward, the maternity ward and the laboratory.

“MSF is the only organization providing much needed specialized health care services such as basic surgery in the area of Pibor,” says Fernando Galvan, deputy head of mission for MSF in South Sudan.

“This event forced us to evacuate part of our team and reduce our activities at a time when people are in desperate need of healthcare.”

He says MSF teams are shocked by these repeated security incidents, which he says strongly impede the ability to deliver urgently needed healthcare.

On a monthly basis, MSF says it provides over 6,300 outpatient consultations in Pibor.

But the charity says it has seen in recent weeks an increase in the number of patients coming to the clinic with acute malnutrition, and the teams have been working hard to provide assistance to people in need.

With the start of the rainy season, MSF says the area now also faces the growing risk of malaria.

Mr. Galvan has reiterated the call for all armed actors to respect international humanitarian law, which protects civilians, medical facilities and the provision of humanitarian assistance.