Indian docs at UN bases in S Sudan provide critical healthcare
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Last Updated: Saturday, March 22, 2014, 12:28
  
United Nations: Indian doctors stationed at UN mission bases in South Sudan are providing critical healthcare services, including helping deliver babies, amid continued conflict and violence that has plagued the world's youngest nation in recent months.

Over 80 babies have been born at the UNMISS (UN Mission in South Sudan) base in troubled Malakal, Upper Nile State, of which 41 were delivered at the UNMISS Indian hospital.

The first baby was delivered alive and healthy by Indian doctors on December 24 last year when Malakal was first attacked, according to information released by the UN Department of Public Information unit here.

"Apart from one baby who died, the rest of the babies delivered here were healthy," Indian hospital chief logistics officer Lieutenant Colonel Saurabh Bhardwaj said.

All expecting mothers were transferred to the Indian hospital before the International Medical Corps (IMC) set up a reproductive health facility at the UNMISS clinic, he said.

At the UNMISS Indian military field hospital in the city of Malakal, 976 patients have been treated since December 23. Over 134 major surgeries have been carried out and babies have been delivered with the assistance of Indian doctors who are providing medical and protection assistance to the site.

"Out of the 46 babies, 28 were male and 18 were female. Included in that number were two sets of twins and one set of triplets," said Emergency volunteer nurse Kelly Suter.

Indian peacekeepers and medical personnel in the volatile Jonglei State have been awarded for their courage and devotion to duty shown while working in extremely difficult conditions.

"Without the steadfastness shown by the battalion group, it would not have been possible to implement the mission mandate in the desired manner," UNMISS Force Commander Delali Johnson Sakyi said in the state capital Bor.

"I commend the group for immense courage and poise shown when under fire and in adverse operational situations."

The UN mission in South Sudan had voiced appreciation for the critical work done at military field hospitals in the troubled nation by Indian doctors who have treated hundreds of patients and provided assistance to civilians seeking protection from fighting between government forces. Indian peacekeepers too have been honoured for their courage and devotion to duty.

The Indian soldiers have been working in extremely hostile conditions to protect civilians and provide humanitarian assistance as deadly clashes between government and opposition engulfed the country since December 15.

Indian peacekeepers have also lost their lives while protecting civilians from attacks by rebel groups. In an attack in April last year, five Indian UNMISS peacekeepers were killed when they were ambushed by about 200 attackers near Jonglei State as they escorted a United Nations convoy.

Two UNMISS Indian Battalion troops were killed in action and one was injured on December 19 in Akobo following an assault on a base.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, March 22, 2014, 12:28


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