In South Sudan, there is a severe shortage of healthcare, with estimates of only one physician per 65,574 people.
CMA ventured into Southern Sudan in 1993, to verify reports of a deadly disease, relapsing fever, plaguing the nation. Debbie Kitchel recalls that when she arrived, “it was the saddest thing I had ever seen living in Africa.” Not only was relapsing fever found, but the people of Southern Sudan were starving, without clothing, and hadn’t had access to medical care in years. Having a heart to ease their suffering, Larry and Debbie knew they had to act.
As civil war raged on, CMA’s team began training the nationals in medical procedures and sanitation. Despite our camp being destroyed multiple times, we were committed to bring healthcare to a population desperately in need of it. We celebrated with South Sudan when it became independent in 2011, and today, CMA runs four Primary Health Care Clinics, which in turn service 10 smaller Health Care Units in some of the most remote areas of the country. Having served nearly a half million people to date, the clinics provide antenatal care and immunizations, provide treatment of common illnesses such as malaria, and conduct community training on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Through CMA’s Comprehensive Eye Care Services, nearly 12,000 trachoma and cataract surgeries have been performed since 2006, bringing sight to those who were blinded by these conditions.