In Pictures: South Sudan's doctor shortage

Remote corners of South Sudan are suffering from a severe lack of proper medical infrastructure.


Aweil, South Sudan - Northern Bahr el Ghazal is South Sudan's poorest state and is generally neglected by national and international aid organisations, which focus instead on regions of active conflict.

It has one principal hospital in the main town of Aweil, and aid group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs the facility in partnership with the Ministry of Health. The hospital caters to the entire state and a regional population of up to 1.4 million.

The ministry has four doctors and MSF usually has five on duty at any one time.

In 2007-2008, MSF launched a project in Aweil to help reduce maternal mortality rates, which was about 50 percent at the time.

This year, catastrophic rates of malaria infections have plagued Northern Bahr el Ghazal during the wet season from March to October - four times the cases from 2013. MSF in Aweil recorded some 20,000 treatments given for the disease in the past five months. 

Infection levels have finally started to come down with the onset of the dry season, but in recent months thousands of people came for screenings and more than 70 percent tested positive for the disease.