Malnourish children at risk as Kapoeta nutrition staffs go on strike

Critical nutrition services at the Kapoeta Civil Hospital have been paralyzed following a sit-in strike by nutrition staff in Eastern Equatoria state.

The workers at the stabilization department are protesting salary delays.

According to the Director of the Hospital, the staff are demanding their 5 months’ arrears from Mother and Children Development Aid [MacDA] organization.

“Last week – around Thursday they notified my office that they have laid down their tools because MacDA failed to pay their arrears for 5 months and also their contracts ended on the first of this month,” said John Isaac.

The strike is reportedly impacting on the health of malnourish children.

Some mothers whose children have been admitted at the stabilization center told Singaita FM that their babies have not received crucial services for the last 5 days.

“There is nothing to give our sick children, there is no milk,” one mother said.

“Our children are facing hunger here…when the doctors left, there is no milk. Our children are suffering. At home, we do not have good food to give to them,” another mother said.

Kapoeta Civil Hospital is calling on the organization to address the concerns of the workers.

“I have communicated this to MacDA. I stressed on the need for them to make sure they resolve this issue,” Isaac revealed.

Antassia Sadasio, the Director of Nutrition in Eastern Equatoria state lamented the conditions the children have been left in.

“We talked to MacDA at Juba level…I asked them if these children die who will be blamed? If anything happens, you MacDA will be responsible for the death,” she stated.

Sadasio disclosed that MaCDA informed her that the strike “is not issue of payment of staffs. [But] we need to take action as soon as possible. I will go to the Director General concerning the issue.”

Efforts to get response from MaCDA management were not immediately successful.

The organization provides integrated emergency and development programs to improve the wellbeing of the vulnerable populations, – especially of mothers and children. It is a South Sudanese national humanitarian and development NGO.