Post-conflict mental issues of South Sudanese people are still not fully addressed

An armed group of the Dinka tribe in Rumbek, South Sudan An armed group of the Dinka tribe in Rumbek, South Sudan Randy Fath on Unsplash

Tambura (South Sudan)- MSF’s missions are deepening and widening their understanding of mental health, providing first-hand assistance.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched an emergency intervention in Tambura in December 2021. 80,000 people had been displaced and a significant proportion of the community had been brutally killed. The looting and destruction of the only hospital meant that people did not have access to medical care.

Stress, sadness and grief are some of the most common symptoms experienced by people living in Tambura displacement camps in South Sudan. MSF's Mental Health Activity Manager Ariadna Alexandra Pérez Gudiño has been working with a team of four counsellors to provide comprehensive community-based mental health services. This included one-to-one counselling sessions, referral pathways for those in need of further treatment or medication, and group psychosocial health sessions.

Mark Moses Tagiapaite has been interview as he has been displaced twice due to the conflict – once as a child during the war for independence, and now again from the intercommunal violence in Tambura: danger was everywhere, nowhere was safe and innocent people died for no reason. Mark is working as an MSF Health Promoter to support others in the camp. He is sharing information on available health services and preventive measures. The psychosocial group sessions ran in the camps included a wide range of activities e.g. arts and crafts, singing, dancing… MSF conducted more than 11,500 individual and group mental health consultations in seven projects in different parts of the country but the road is still long.

 

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by Viola Rubeca

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