South Sudan’s conflict began as a political crisis in the capital, Juba, in December 2013 but rapidly spread throughout the country, involving various armed groups and militias. Civilians have also been repeatedly targeted and subjected to extreme levels of violence, including rape, abduction and murder. Unity state, in the central north of the country, is one of the worst affected areas. Almost 600,000 people are displaced in the state, with many seeking safety in the UN Protection of Civilians camp in Bentiu, and others simply hiding in the bush or swamplands. Médecins Sans Frontières provides the only hospital for the 110,000 people in the camp – a 170-bed facility providing everything from maternity care to surgery.
Jennifer Duncombe, Epidemiologist, shares her experiences from Bentiu: