, 05 July, 2020 / 4:18 PM
Mary Immaculate Hospital in Mapuordit, a mission health facility belonging to the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek in South Sudan, has been shut down indefinitely over security threats to its staff and patients, the administration announced.
“We would like to inform the local authorities and the public that due to the situation of insecurity, the administration of Mary Immaculate has decided to close all activities with immediate effect from 29.06.2020,” the Medical Director of Mary Immaculate Hospital, Mapuordit, Bro. Dr. Paola Rizzetto stated in a public notice dated Monday, June 29.
The 113-bed-hospital in South Sudan’s Lakes State will remain closed until security for the personnel at the facility is guaranteed through “regular patrolling by armed soldiers,” The Italian-born member of the Comboni Missionaries who has been at the facility since February 2016 announced.
“We need to inform you that the normal hospital routine will not be re-started until more security is asserted and regular patrolling by armed soldiers of the hospital compound and of the expatriate compound is implemented,” Bro. Paola Rizzetto stated.
He added, “We are very sorry for all the inconveniences this will create to the local community.”
For over a month now, villages surrounding Mapuordit sub-county in the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek have been under proxy attacks from groups suspected to be belonging to the South Sudanese militant group, National Salvation Front (NAS), which is fighting against the government.
With some employees pushed away from work by the uncertainties, the leadership of the facility finds the institution disabled and say, “Without qualified staff, we cannot guarantee the safe operation of the hospital.”
The Comboni missionaries founded Mapuordit hospital in 2002 to help the needy community of Yirol and nearby communities of Rumbek and parts of Mvolo in Western Equatoria state.
Since then, the Comboni Missionaries have overseen the running of the health facility, providing professional personnel to the mission hospital. Three Comboni Brothers are based at the facility: two medical doctors and an anaesthetist.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa