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Doctors' Union condemns attacks on health workers


Following an attack on a healthcare worker in Northern Bahr el Gazal last week, the South Sudan Doctors' Union (SSDU) have released a statement condemning the rise in violence against healthcare professionals this week.

The statement notes a recent attack on a health worker involved in a Onchocerciasis Elimination Program in Northern Bahr el Gahzal, and the assault and brief detention of the Head of Health Sciences Institute in Aweil.

Most recently, the Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal Minister of Health, Dau Riiny Lual, was reportedly involved in a fistfight with a doctor over use of a vehicle involved in a local tropical medicine project.

A ward in Aweil Civil Hospital, Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

Writing generally, the Union has condemned all violence in general and the attack on the Onchocerciasis worker specifically.

'The SSDU condemns, in the strongest terms, this barbaric act of violence and intimidation against a health professional who continues to serve our people despite poor working conditions and low motivation. Use of violence as a means to resolve administrative issues is unjustified as State Ministry of Health authorities are expected to protect their employees from any harm', the Union commented.

The SSDU have called on the law enforcement officials to immediately investigate all incidents of violence against healthcare workers, and ensure equal access to justice and legal assistance is provided to all victims.

Coinciding with the need for greater state and administrative area policy guidance, the SSDU has also called for the government to allow greater space for human rights and protection of healthcare employees across the country.

Writing to its members, the SSDU end their statement with a warning to its members to maximise caution, avoid situations that may lead to violent confrontation and seek amicable or legal means to address any injustice.

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