Landlocked South Sudan is nestled between Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda and as one of the poorest and most fragile nations in the world, there is just one doctor per 100,000 people.
outh Sudan is wrought with poverty and is the world’s youngest country. It’s lived through 50 years of war and there is minimal healthcare; 83% of the country’s primary healthcare is provided by NGOs, like the British charity CRESS.
Sure Chill Technology has been cited as one of the top innovations saving lives. To discover how our technology is making a life-changing difference in South Sudan, we spoke to CRESS and staff at Liwolo Clinic.
A New Clinic for Liwolo
Liwolo clinic is the first of its kind within in a 40 mile radius in South Sudan, with people travelling in trepidation for three long days just to get the healthcare they crucially need.
When CRESS responded to the urgent need for healthcare, they constructed a clean, private and solar powered clinic.
Joseph Aba, head of CRESS in South Sudan reflects, “my people can now access treatment and be treated with dignity, love and care in their time of great need. My heart is filled with joy.”
Liwolo Receives The Only Fridge in a 40 Mile Radius
By early 2016, the clinic had made huge strides in improving healthcare for the community, yet it was missing one vital ingredient; a medical refrigerator that could protect essential medical supplies in one of the world’s most remote locations where there is no electricity.
Joseph tells us how much the clinic needed the refrigerator at Liwolo Clinic, “The community was suffering hugely, there was no fridge within a 40 mile radius,” Joseph pauses, “many people ended up dying without treatment for diseases and life-saving vaccines. We have so many terrible stories to testify where this has happened…”
CRESS addressed this urgent need and purchased a Sure Chill solar direct drive (SDD) medical refrigerator after a recommendation from a fellow NGO. Sure Chill SDD’s can last for weeks without power, will never freeze vaccines and are easy for clinics to use and maintain.
Caroline Lamb, CEO of CRESS spoke of the equipment for the clinic,
“This precious item has made all the difference to earlier diagnoses of diseases and protecting and prescribing the right medicine.”
As the only clinic with a medical refrigerator within a 40 mile radius, word has spread about Liwolo Clinic over the past year. It sees some 50 people attend the clinic each day, travelling from Northern Uganda, South Sudan and Moruba to access its services. Joseph told us, “one child in Laniya tried all the clinics in Laniya to access treatment, without success, but they came to this clinic and were successful!”
The clinic doesn’t only attract and serve the local community, but international personnel. Two UN officials supervising bridge construction work in South Sudan commended the clinic for the services provided to their staff. Simon L, UN Official praised the clinic, “Many of our staff building the three bridges had to use the clinic to be treated for typhoid and malaria. Some would’ve certainly died without the treatment – and if one had died, the others would have given up and the three bridges would not have been completed.”
Clinic recommended for National Vaccination Programmes
Boasting its reliable and robust Sure Chill medical refrigerator, the County Health Director has recommended that Liwolo Clinic be used for National Vaccination Programmes. “The clinic can now treat successfully cases of Typhoid, Malaria, Hepatitis B and C, HIV and AIDS,” explained Joseph, “without the fridge, these diseases would have claimed many, many lives.”
Nurses at Liwolo Clinic said: “The drugs, vaccines and laboratory reagents which used to get spoiled due high temperature are now preserved and kept potent since they are kept under controlled temperature hence proper diagnosis and effective management of patients.” They added: “Patients no longer have to take drugs that have lost their efficacy and can receive effective, life-saving management for their problems.”
Speaking of their thoughts on the fridge performance, they told us: “The fridge doesn’t consume much power, which is important to us as we’re in such a remote place.” They went on to commend it for its safety, user-friendly design and maintenance benefits.
Upon reflection, Joseph explained, “without Liwolo clinic, its staff, medical equipment and the service it provides to a community of 40,000 people, it would be really impossible to save lives from disease and illness, people would continue to suffer helplessly.”