2018 Nansen Refugee Award dedicated to South Sudanese Surgeon

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SHAFAQNA- The only functional hospital in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State runs by Dr. Evan Atar Adaha, serving more than 200,000 people, including 144,000 refugees.

Evan Atar Adaha, head surgeon and medical director at a remote hospital in South Sudan, received the prestigious 2018 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award at a gala event in Geneva.

The South Sudanese doctor was chosen for his 20-year commitment in providing medical services to people forced to flee conflict and persecution in Sudan and South Sudan, as well as to the communities that welcome them.

Dr. Atar runs the only functional hospital in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State, an area larger than Ireland or the U.S. states of Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Located in the town of Bunj, in Maban County, it serves more than 200,000 people, including 144,000 refugees from Sudan.

The award presented by Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, at a star-studded evening in Geneva’s Bâtiment des Forces Motrices.

He is the latest in a long line of “ordinary people doing extraordinary things” to be honoured with the annual award, named after the first High Commissioner for Refugees, the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen.

Originally from Torit, a town in southern South Sudan, Dr. Atar studied medicine in Khartoum, Sudan, and afterwards practised in Egypt.

In 1997, as war ravaged Sudan’s Blue Nile State, Dr. Atar volunteered to work there.  In 2011, increasing violence forced him to pack up his hospital and flee with his staff and as much equipment as he could transport, a journey that took a month.

Arriving in Bunj, he set up his first surgical theatre in an abandoned local health centre, stacking tables to create a raised operating table. Since its establishment, Dr. Atar has worked tirelessly to secure funding and train other young people to become nurses and midwives.

 

Read more from Shafaqna:

National Quran competition underway in Sudan

Famine affecting over 20 million in Yemen, Somalia, S. Sudan, Nigeria

UN images reveal 18,000 destroyed structures in South Sudan

 

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