New Fangak is a remote area of South Sudan surrounded by rivers and wetlands. Many villages are only accessible by boat or plane and the majority of the population of 26,000 are agro-pastoralists.
HI's team of rehabilitation specialists, known as the ‘Flying Team’ travels to areas like New Fangak to better understand the needs of the community and how HI may be able to provide relevant services.
The Flying Team conducts focus groups with members of the community to hear about issues linked to health, disability and rehabilitation. In New Fangak, many people mentioned that polio-like symptoms were prevalent within the population as, historically, the area was cut off from accesss to vaccination campaigns. The first polio vaccination campaigns began 3 years ago.
In Tonga, feedback from the key informant interviews points to poor access to services by people with disabilities, social stigmatization and extensive lack of mobility aids which hampers the ability of children and adults to access services.
The Flying Team conducts training session on issues such as measures to prevent disability and how to include basic rehabilitaion procedures. In New Fangak they worked with 19 health workers from 6 different organizations and health facilities. This was the first training on the subject of disability and rehabilitation that partcipants had ever received.
Training is an important step in building awarness and capacity throughout the more remote locations of South Sudan. The Flying Team will continue to visit these locations and offer specialized support and services through awarness raising campaigns, capacity building workshops and training sessions.
The Flying Team is financed by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)