Survivors of sexual violence in South Sudan struggle to access health care
Sexual violence survivors are continuing to struggle to access adequate medical and mental health care in South Sudan, according to a new report by UNMISS and the UN Human Rights Office.
The report titled “Access to Health for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in South Sudan” found that just 1.2 percent (USD 14 million) of South Sudan’s national budget was spent on public health care.
International organizations are using donor funding to try to fill the gap but, despite the enormous financial investment, the medical response for survivors remains weak. The report also found that there is, on average, only one health facility per 10,000 people and about 72% of people live more than 5 km away from a clinic. Many facilities are not capable of providing specialized care and there are not enough qualified doctors, nurses or midwives. Stigmatization, coupled with the risk of being labelled a sexual violence survivor if they seek health care, has also forced many to suffer in silence.