An Open Letter: Community Awareness

To: Mr. Deng Lueth Mayom Ayiik, President of Greater Bor Community in the US.
Cc to: Minster of health in Jonglei State
Mr. Akol Aguek Ngong, President of Bor community /county in the US
Mr. Malith Jongkuch Kur, Acting president of Bor community in Canada
Mr. Ajak Chuol Chan, President of Duk county in Canada
Mr. Juac Koor Juac, President of Twice east county in Canada
Dec. 31, 2015

Dear Presidents,

Most of us in the diaspora attempt to demonstrate the leadership aptitude to address issues at the national level and that is commendable. However, there are more pressing issues at the local levels. The wars before and after the signing of comprehensive peace agreement have left behind unpleasant situation in our Greater Bor Community (GBC). Mr. President, there are many things that need immediate attention in the Greater Bor Community today, not in the future. Our community needs immediate intervention to avert continuing devastation from some of the deadly infectious diseases in the world. I urge you to make national politics secondary and join hands with all county leaders, commissioners, members of parliament and individuals in fight against spreading of HIV/AIDS in the community.

To begin with, since the signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005,
foreigners from the neighbour countries (Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and etc.) have traveled and entered into our greater Bor Community land. As a result, our community has been effected, not only by detrimental foreign cultures, but also diseases that have become epidemics. Many sources point to unacceptably high proportion of residents in the headquarter of Jonglei State (Bor) infected with HIV and suffering from AIDS among other sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

Our beloved ones are dying day and night without proper awareness from anywhere. The death rate is reportedly passing the birth rate in the Greater Bor Community of Bor, Twice and Duk. Mr. President, the innocent residents of greater Bor Community need immediate awareness on how to avoid exposure and infection with HIV and how to care for those infected with the virus and the disease. Unfortunately, it is in the culture of Greater Bor community that conditions as such are stigmatized and therefore most
people make every absolutely effort to keep their HIV status secret from anyone including family members.

We know in the western world that the best way to fight infectious diseases like HIV is to inform people, be explicit and make awareness and caring for those affected a normal exercise. This culture that stigmatizes people with the disease must be challenged to safeguard the vast majority of our beloved people of GBC. World has changed, therefore, we must change our attitude and bad cultures. In the other parts of the world, diseases are treated and people are cared for, they are not embarrassed about and their human dignity is respected, not loathed.

Mr. President, the government of the republic of South Sudan is currently struggling with the current economics crisis and ceaseless militias in the young nation.  Therefore, the community leaders such as yourself as well as the people, should not only rely on and wait for the national government to safe the situation as such, we must act first. We should learn from historical events, including the impact of cholera outbreak in Equatoria and Upper Nile states in 2004/05 that killed people of South Sudan from community to community, town to town and state to state. Yet we did not hear of any significant awareness launched by responsible government authorities to help curve the spread. There is no doubt that this government has been paralyzed
by continuous turmoil in the country.

Mr. President, the only key intervention to minimize the spread of HIV AIDS in the area is to launch an immense awareness and encourage the people of Greater Bor Community to take all necessary measures to cease the disease epidemic. It has to be a collective obligation from all of us in diaspora as well as the people of Greater Bor Community back in South Sudan. The rate of escalation and advancement of HIV/AIDS in the area is very high. You must safe this community from the impact of this disease being propagated by foreigners soon as the beginning of 2016.

Mr. president, the following are my personal suggested action steps that I believe if executed in the beginning of 2016 would make a big difference;
1. Foreigners who enter to the GBC land have to be identified and they must go
through the medical examination.
2. The existing foreigners in the Headquarter of Jonglei State and surrounding areas must be identified and they must go through Medical examination.
3. Massive awareness must be launched to enlighten the people of GBC about the gravity of HIV/AIDS and how to avoid it.
4. Greater Bor Community members must be encouraged to regularly examine their
health status, including doing regular screening for the virus and the disease.
5. The symptoms of the diseases should be defined and educate the public.
6. New couple in GBC should be encouraged to go through medical examination before they start their new life.
Thanks very much and have a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays.
Yours sincerely,

Reech Madit Reech, – former Chair person of Bor community in AB, Canada.

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