The long period of civil war in South Sudan has destroyed a lot of potential cadres starting from fifties of the 20th century to the recent war after the independent in December 2013. This war has not only affected the lost of dear once but have created other mental and trauma problem among communities and they have lived with that for all these period of time without any medication.
according to Dr. Atong Ayweil Longar who is the only psychiatric consultant engaged by the National Ministry of health in South Sudan, says the latest 19 months of conflict between the Government of South Sudan and rebel group led by the former vice president Riek Machar, have INCREASED the incidence of conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder and social aggressiveness THROUGHOUT the country. She added that “what is happening now in South Sudan in a professional point of view we are having a patient who is already traumatized for a long time which is for the last 21 years. In a way or another, they managed to cope with this but the problem is that those stresses don’t heal now and cause problem now it cause problem in a long term”.
Atong added “The recent crises although it is for short period of time compare with the first civil war; it causes more effect. Because the South Sudanese are already weak and their defense mechanism is weaken as well. So when that subjected into this, the population started showing a frank symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder”.
Communities across South Sudan now days they seems to be frustrated. Most of the time you could see people are being aggressive in their daily life. You meet people in a public transport or in market sometimes they start fighting physically for a minor reason, some even go further as attacking individuals which some time might end into killings and might involve community attack as well. In Wau town
Dr. Atong saya the South Sudan Ministry of Health is trying their best to help by providing assistance to people affected by mental illnesses. That is because; many communities are not aware of themselves being sick and are in need of help. Some even go further to self medicate themselves by consume a lot of alcohol or other drugs.
No organization is interested now offering help in mental illnesses in South Sudan Dr. Atong says even though there numerous of humanitarian organizations operating in the country but they prefer to invest in Malaria, Malnutrition and mother and child health care…etc. because these and other diseases are also a big issue facing the health sector in South Sudan.
I am here appealing to whoever reads this article and interested in investing in mental illnesses in South Sudan; please don’t hesitate to offer that help.
I could be reached through: