The Director of the Juba Teaching Hospital says the institution has only one ambulance available for emergency services in the whole of Juba town.
Dr. Maker Isaac said the ambulance is overstretched and rarely respond to the needs of the population when required.
On Thursday, a woman leader in Gurei area, Loice Juan said expectant mothers from far end of the town face difficulties in getting emergency transport to the Juba Teaching Hospital.
“Juba Teaching Hospital has only one ambulance which takes patients. We need to help people, but we don’t have the resources and the facilities. You know fuel is a big problem, people and not paid, there are no salaries. So its difficult,” Dr. Maker said.
In 2014, the government of the United Arab Emirates donated 12 ambulances to the National Ministry of Health in order to help the government contain the cholera outbreak in the country.
In 2015, the World Health Organization also donated 10 ambulances to the Ministry of Health to help in the referral of mothers and children to health facilities.
Last year, the Ministry of Health again received three ambulances from the Japanese government to be distributed to Ayod, Uror, and Nyirol which were mostly affected by conflict.
Despite these donations, Dr. Maker said Juba Teaching Hospital requires more ambulance to support the one that is currently operational.
“We have a driver if somebody really needs help, and we can access them. But we don’t have a number that you can call for the ambulance to come and pick you, we don’t have somebody on the phone 24 hours to take calls,” he said.
“It needs a lot of resources, we need somebody on the phone and we need to have so many ambulances, so that we can dispatch them when needed. But in this situation now, we can not.”
Last year, the National Ministry of Health and the Chinese Embassy in South Sudan signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the modernization of Juba Teaching Hospital.
The 33 million US dollar project was to facilitate the construction of a maternity unit and emergency and accidents unit, including the provision of necessary logistics.