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After decades of internal conflict, South Sudan gained independence in 2011, becoming the world's newest country. 

However, a new conflict in South Sudan erupted in late 2013.

Intense violence and fighting continue throughout much of the country. By early 2018, almost 4 million of the country's 12 million people had been displaced by the conflict. Three-quarters of the population do not have access to basic medical care and 80 per cent of health facilities are run by nongovernmental organisations. 

All of these circumstances combine to make South Sudan one of the most dangerous places in the world to have a baby or raise a child. 

But there is hope. MSF provide essential paediatric and maternity care in the Aweil state hospital in the north of South Sudan. Thousands of women and children make the long and difficult journey to the facility in search of lifesaving medical care. 

For 1.4 million people this hospital is the only place to receive essential medical care. We provide vital maternity services including complex surgery. We also provide lifesaving medical care in the paediatric inpatient department, neonatal unit, intensive care unit and inpatient therapeutic feeding centre for malnourished children. 

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Delivering care on the road

As well as running the maternal and paediatrics departments in Aweil hospital, MSF responds to outbreaks of disease in the surrounding Bahr El Ghazal region of South Sudan. In February 2018, MSF responded to a large scale measles outbreak in Aweil. 

MSF deployed several emergency teams to carry out a vaccination campaign which was aimed at children aged from six months to under five years old. 

From February 20th to March 3rd of this year, 22,976 children were vaccinated in more than 42 sites in Aweil town, Aweil Centre County and neighbouring rural areas. In addition to measles vaccinations, all children received medication to treat parasitic worm infestations. Children were also screened for malnutrition by the emergency teams during this campaign. 

stories from south sudan