High maternal mortality rates in South Sudan
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Following two devastating civil wars, the health care system in Southern Sudan was rendered virtually non-existent, leading to some of the most appalling health and development statistics in the world. Less than half of all births are attended by a skilled provider.
South Sudan has the highest maternal death rate in the world, where more than 2,000 women die for every 100,000 live births. Only 10% of births are attended by a skilled provider.
More than 190 children out of 1,000 die before their fifth birthday.
The main illnesses people suffer from are malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia. Limited government funds for health, coupled with poor quality health service, and lack health education affects the health seeking behavior of communities.
Our work in South Sudan
In 1986 we sent our first medical team to Sudan in response to devastating famine in the area. Since 2004, we’ve sent 13 emergency response teams to West Darfur to work alongside a consortium of partners. In partnership with the Global Relief Alliance, we have operated a multi-sectoral intervention in West Darfur that focuses on health, hygiene, water and sanitation, food security/livelihood issues and nutrition.
Medical Teams International provided care to more than 60,000 people in three communities outside of El Geneina, West Darfur. We also trained medical assistants and community health promoters on malaria treatment protocols, sanitation and hygiene, control of diarrheal disease and clinic management. Increased security breaches have halted our work in West Darfur. In 2007, we also sent two medical teams to Tonj, South Sudan to assist our partner, MedAir, with their meningitis vaccination campaign.
In 2011, Medical Teams International began a partnership with the Christian Health Association of Sudan (CHAS) and the Nzara Diocese of the Episcopal Church to implement a community based maternal health improvement project in Nzara County of Southern Sudan. The project addresses the high maternal mortality rates that are due to lack of knowledge about safe prenatal care and birthing practices; inability to reach health care services because of the vastness of rural Southern Sudan and inadequate facilities, personnel and equipment.
Plans for 2012-2013
Medical Teams International is working with the Nzara Diocese of the Episcopal Church in Western Equatoria State addressing the high maternal mortality rate through the Safe Motherhood project. The project improves maternal health-seeking practices among women in 5 villages of Nzara County and a village in Yambio County, Western Equatoria State, South Sudan.
The project will train 48 Community Health Promoters and 20 Traditional Birth Attendants through community based maternal health education and increase access to safe delivery for mothers and babies by constructing and equipping a maternity unit and training midwives at the Nzara Good Samaritan Clinic. We will provide technical assistance in maternal child health best practices.
The program is expected to benefit more than 9,200 women of child bearing age and nearly 5,000 children.
In 10 counties of Lakes State, MTI is partnering with Life in Abundance in the Rumbek Primary Health Care Program to reduce child and maternal morbidity and mortality by improving access and utilization of health services, improving quality of health facility services and maternal and child health care practices and building the capacity of nine technical staff, 50 church volunteers and 20 local government ministry of health staff.
Our partners in South Sudan
The Christian Health Association of Sudan (CHAS) is the largest local community based network with a membership that includes church-based health institutions, health facilities and health programs that have been providing over 40% of health care services in Southern Sudan during the war over the past 10 years.
The Nzara Diocese of the Episcopal Church of Sudan is one of six new Dioceses of the four million member Episcopal Church of Sudan. With a strong commitment to holistic ministry and social services, the diocese was motivated to address the high number of deaths of mothers giving birth in Nzara County. Large congregations of the church support the work through volunteer outreach and community mobilization.
Life In Abundance International is an African founded and led Christian organization based in Nairobi, Kenya that is mobilizing the Church to restore health, renew hope and inspire lasting transformation for Africa's most vulnerable children and families. Currently working in eight countries in NE Africa, the organization places special emphasis on community development at the grass-roots level and works toward effective long-term sustainability.
South Sudan facts
In Western Equatoria State, the following situation exists:
- 214 children die out of every 1000 live births
- 2,327 women die out of every 100,000 live births
- South Sudan experienced devastating civil wars from 1955-1972 and from 1983-2005
- In 1986 we sent our first medical team to Sudan in response to devastating famine in the area.
- Since 2004 we’ve sent 13 emergency response teams to West Darfur to work alongside a consortium of NGOs working in the area
- We also operated a multi-faceted intervention in West Darfur that focuses on health, hygiene, water and sanitation, food security/livelihood issues and nutrition.
- In 2007 we sent two medical teams to Tonj, South Sudan to assist our partner, MedAir, with their meningitis vaccination campaign.
- Today: Medical Teams International implements a community based maternal health improvement project in Nzara County of Southern Sudan.
Please donate or volunteer to help save lives in South Sudan.