And the Winds Blew

The main Servant’s Heart health facility was destroyed by a whirlwind during the rains, ripping off the entire roof. Medicines, supplies and years of health and medicine records were all destroyed. What could be salvaged was moved into the main compound where health services continued in make-shift facilities.

Rebuilding proved to be quite a challenge. Unexpectedly, timber and trusses were hard to acquire. Chotbora is in an area of savannah climate, where no large trees for lumber grow. The timber was finally sourced from Juba, South Sudan, and air lifted in just before the heavy rains of the summer months. 40 sheets of metal roofing and 100kgs of roofing nails were flown from Kenya. By early June all of the tools for rebuilding the clinic had been assembled at the compound. Local volunteers immediately began rebuilding the clinic, as the temporary compound proved incapable of handling the full patient load. By early August the clinic was completed and full health services were resumed.

Through your continued support, funds were available through this emergency to purchase the needed lumber, roofing and supplies. Without these supplies in a timely manner, the health services would have been greatly limited.

Save the Children Expands Partnership

When Save the Children (US) was looking for organizations that were doing effective work in South Sudan that could be more effective if they had additional resources, they chose Servant's Heart as one of their partners. We had already demonstrated a track record of hiring and training local people to teach and run schools and were trying to address medical needs with insufficient resources.

With the assistance of Save the Children, Servant's Heart has run the medical clinics in Chotboro since 2001 and expanded to Pamach, maintained midwifery teams since 2002, and more recently initiated a leprosy treatment program. Based on our demonstrated responsible use of funds and insight into the local communities' needs, Save the Children has further expanded their support to improve the health care that Servant's Heart provides and expand our presence.

The program currently provides medicines and treatment through two medical clinics and patients are walking up to five days to come to a clinic for treatment. Fully one fourth of the population in the region are returnees from the result of decades of civil war, many of whom have neglected medical conditions, so the trips are often difficult. Save the Children is working with us to increase the capacity of the medical clinics to meet these needs and anticipate additional ones.

Expanded services are planned, such as creating mobile clinics, increasing systematic immunization programs, and distribution centers for long-lasting, insecticide- treated bed-nets to prevent malaria. Servant's Heart is currently treating over 25,000 patients per year in this region. With additional support from our donors, we are hoping to yearly increase the number of people we provide services to.

Since 2002, Servant's Heart has run the only schools in the region. We started with the school in Daga Post, then Wudeir, then Chotbora, partnering with the local communities in each village. The schools have now expanded to educate close to 3,000 children. Save the Children intends to help us provide medical services to the school children to teach them good hygiene and improve their knowledge of health. We continue to work at integrating education, health and spiritual life.

We have also worked with Save the Children to educate women on issues of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Servant's Heart staff, community and church leaders were taught the importance of caring for abuse victims. Save the Children has also helped to coordinate medicines donated by UNICEF and the Government of South Sudan Ministry of Health. Servant's Heart has coordinated with The Leprosy Mission and the Ministry of Health to provide the leprosy medicines. Together, we are working to improve the health of the people in this remote area.

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