Bentiu, South Sudan, 14 September 2018 – A total of 75 inmates and prison officers at the Bentiu prison have received free medical treatment by Ghanaian peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), as part of its mission to protect civilians.
“We thought that nobody cared about us, but now we feel better and at home. UNMISS has continued to visit us and provide all our need such at sleeping mats, blankets and mosquito nets, and today they given us medical treatment,” says one of the inmates, who prefers to remain anonymous. He added that each inmate now has a set of essentials.
“Our target is not only to visit the prisoners, but also to assist the local population as well. We are committed to assist them and we will not stop here. We will continue to explore other places where we can provide medical assistance to those in need, particularly the most vulnerable,” Captain Edenezer Menlah, a Laboratory Officer of the Ghanaian battalion, says about their most recent intervention.
The Ghanaian peacekeepers have been providing free medical services to local communities in Southern Unity for the last two years, following the evacuation of humanitarians and health workers due to the fighting in the area. More recently, they have been expanding these activities to Bentiu and surrounding areas.
The medical care offered by the West African contingent is a task that has been taken on in addition to their everyday physical protection of more than 114,000 displaced persons in the UN protection site in Bentiu and regular confidence building field patrols to various parts of the region.
Ghana, the 10th largest contributor to UN Peacekeeping, currently deploys nearly 1,000 military and police personnel to UNMISS.