They cannot remember their ages or how long they have been married. They say this does not matter to most people in the Blue Nile anyway. It’s their five children that matter—and being able to stay together through the constant fleeing and oppression of war. Love's endurance measured, in part, by violence.
They fled the war-torn state of Blue Nile State in Sudan ten months ago after bombings overran their village. Without water or food, their family hid from the bombardments for three days, followed by a quick dash towards the border. The journey was difficult and his father and step-mother died along the way. Things became much quieter once they crossed the border into South Sudan and settled in the border refugee camps—first in Jamam and later in Gendrassa refugee camp.
But then she faced another battle. At six months pregnant, she contracted Hepatitis E. An International Medical Corps community health promoter found her suffering in her dark tent and immediately dispatched an ambulance.
In a camp of nearly 10,000 refugees, any sense of urgency drowns in an ocean of tents—stopping at one white tent to find directions to yet another white tent. The rainy season makes hard things harder. Mud caused the white Toyota Land Cruiser ambulance to slip and spin as it tediously rushed to her aid. An International Medical Corps physician and driver carried a stretcher across shin-deep waters and into a dark, stuffy tent where a handful of family members crowded around a sullen figure slumped over a bed. “Sabahl-al-kheir” (good morning) the doctor said and she looked up at him.
She was still alive.
She was quickly transported back to International Medical Corps’ clinic and immediately treated for early liver failure and a critically low blood glucose level. In the end, she and her baby were saved.
But they are part of a rapidly rising refugee population in Upper Nile State, South Sudan that is facing urgent health, nutrition and disease prevention needs. Conflict and hunger in neighboring Blue Nile State of Sudan continues to drive people across the border. International Medical Corps is responding in Maban County, which currently hosts over 100,000 refugees.
So for her and her baby and many more like them—thank you for supporting our work in South Sudan.