8th December 2023
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Maban gets new maternity ward— from Nansen award winner

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Sunday, June 20, 2021

Dr. Evan Atar Adaha says he built the facility to help save the lives of people in Maban.Charles Wote/Eye Radio

Residents of Maban County, Upper Nile State have received a new maternity ward.

The facility was built by a South Sudanese doctor who won the Nansen Refugee Award two years ago.

In 2018, Dr. Evan Atar Adaha, surgeon and medical director at Maban County hospital won the award for his outstanding commitment and self-sacrifice in providing medical services to more than 200,000 people including approximately 144,000 refugees from Sudan’s Blue Nile state.

He received a commemorative medal and a $150,000 monetary prize.

Dr. Atar then promised to build a facility to help save the lives of people in Maban.

Atar has now constructed a maternity ward containing a delivery room, postnatal care, neonatal, Nurse, and midwifery unit and a room for caregivers.

“In 2018 when I won the Nansen Refugee Award, I was able to get this prize and that is why I chose to build the maternity ward,” Dr. Atar said.

“So this is the place where we really need to help people. It is so difficult especially during the rainy season there is no way a patient could be transferred from here to anywhere because when it rains the road will be impassable.”

Dr. Atar who spoke to the media after the inauguration of the ward in Bunj of Maban County on Friday said the facility is the only functioning hospital which treats patients from all over neighboring counties.

Previously, Atar and his medical workers used to carry over 50 operations per week in difficult conditions at the hospital with limited supplies and equipment.

Since it is the only hospital in Upper Nile State, it is often crowded with patients and wards extend into the open air.

Despite the inauguration of the new ward, Dr. Atar says Maban County Hospital remains crowded with patients admitted in open spaces due to lack of space.

“There are so many challenges because if you see it now with the expansion, the wards get full especially when it comes to the rain season,” the award winning doctor said.

“It is not easy for us to accommodate patients. Sometimes people sleep outside.”

He further said there was a need for more expansion to include an isolation ward and an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to treat critical cases.

The new maternity ward has brought joy to a 45-year-old Maban resident.

“I will say thanks so much because this maternity ward is nicely constructed and helpful,” Mary Bum Agibe said.

“We are very happy for this initiative. Thanks to Atar and the people who supported him to build this for us. This is partly the type of service we want from our people.”

For his part, Maban County Commissioner Peter Alberto believes that with the improved security situation the facility will save more lives.

“Even if somebody is sick at nighttime, they can be brought here. Those who can be picked with the ambulance can be brought here and those who can walk or can be carried by their family members can always come here even from the far south and far west, east and north,” said Alberto.

“This hospital is serving everybody even people are coming from headquarter of the state in Malakal.”

The inauguration ceremony was presided over by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Beatrice Khamisa Wani, Commissioner for Refugee Affairs, John Bol Akot, Canadian Ambassador to South Sudan, Jenny Hill, and the UNHCR Representative Arafat Jamal among others.

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