This report is from our dear friend Lamunu Medina of Warragul, Victoria who was able to speak to the Leader of Women in Obbo, South Sudan, by phone yesterday. Here are some heartbreaking facts about life in Obbo. Read and see how life really is for the precious women of Obbo, their children, husbands and family groups.
This is what we learned:
There is no immediate help for pregnant woman who are in labour, and if the labour is difficult they need to be transported on motor bike/bicycle to the nearest hospital with qualified doctors in Torit, which takes more than 3 hours. Rose told me, they lost one woman last year on the way to Torit. The woman was pregnant with twins and one baby was born, (now crawling) with the help of other women who are not trained and the second baby couldn’t come out. They put her on the bike to be taken to the hospital for an operation but unfortunately she died before reaching for help. How sad is that, I am touched, very touched. And sometimes they called the only vehicle which is in Magwi County, but again, they must fill it with 4 jerry-cans, equivalent to 80 litres of petrol which most people can’t afford. The vehicle is not reliable as well, since it is the only one in that area. Rose said, “If the woman is pregnant she feels like she is on death row, instead of feeling happy, because they don’t know if their baby or them will be alive after birth.
The women’s leader also told me that the only Health Centre in Obbo has no staff, and the volunteer who runs it comes in on their own time to work. Most of the time patients have been turned back because there is no medicine. The head of the Obbo women walks from place to place meeting the women of Obbo and she said people depend on River water for domestic use and those who are very far from the river have a borehole which was drilled, but the women and girls as young as 7 years have to go with a blanket and mat to sleep where the borehole is, waiting in the line for their turn to get water. Also, the borehole needs two to six people to pump it otherwise the water won’t come.