Health institution closed a week ago after a witch doctor accused the facility’s medical officer of having evil spirits, reopens.
The army has reopened the Buegyi Primary Health Care Unit in Lozho Payam of Mundri East County in Western Equatoria State, a week after it was shuttered by a local witchdoctor.
The health institution was closed a week ago after the witchdoctor accused the facility’s medical officer of having evil spirits.
Gibson Mamur, Mundri East County Health Director, told Radio Tamazuj Monday that the closure of the health institution was erroneous and that the local authorities had agreed to restore the facility.
“As a government, we addressed the closure and we do not want the health centre to close. The manner in which the health institution was closed was perplexing. I did my best and, in accordance with the government’s structure, I do not want the centre closed,” Mamur stated. “I attempted to call them and discovered that there were around 18 of them in the meeting, including elders and other local officials. They were opposed to the (health) centre closing and the workers being laid off. That issue originated with the witchdoctor, who has traditional authority in the area and asserts that the health professional (in charge) possesses an evil spirit. We reached an agreement, and I opened the centre.”
He urged the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) in the region to avoid becoming engaged in matters that may jeopardise the community’s health.
“The soldiers that had been dispatched to the court stood by the witchdoctor. In such scenario, I oppose the army’s role in the center’s closure. This is an incorrect line, and we discussed it. We do not want them to become involved in governing the region in accordance with the security sector. They cannot close the centre on the witchdoctor’s orders,” Mamur stated.
When contacted, Scopas Bullen, the medical officer in charge of the health centre who was accused by the witchdoctor of carrying bad spirits, stated that this is the witchdoctor’s second attack on him.
“That witchdoctor wishes to assassinate me because I earn in United States dollars. This is the second time he has brought charges against me about my income, and I have decided not to return. He will murder me the next time. As a physician, all persons on the planet are same to me. They are treated equally by me. Now I’m going to request a transfer from the county health department to a position where I can help others, since my health is also important,” Bullen explained.
Government officials in the region could not be reached for comment immediately.
The government operates the Buegyi Primary Health Care Centre through the county health department, with assistance from Doctors with Africa CUAMM.