Amref Health Africa has a long history in South Sudan, beginning in 1972 in what was then the southern region of Sudan. Over the decades, we have played a critical part in planning and developing the country’s health care system.
Working with South Sudan’s Ministry of Health, Amref Health Africa has helped to create a national health care plan and train health care workers. We are working together with communities to improve health, particularly in rural and remote areas where health care is nearly impossible to access.
The health situation in South Sudan remains grave. The country has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Preventable and treatable diseases are the leading cause of illness and death. Most health facilities were destroyed during the 22-year Sudan civil war, and there is a severe shortage of skilled health care workers, particularly in rural areas.
Working in partnership with government, communities, grassroots groups, United Nations agencies and others, Amref Health Africa in South Sudan is focusing its work on eliminating the conditions under which preventable diseases flourish, and strengthening the country’s health care system.
In 2013, Amref Health Africa led 15 projects that focused on improving health.
Some highlights of our work in 2013:
115 health workers graduated from the National Health Training Institute – Maridi, a government training centre supported by Amref Health Africa. The Institute started in 1998 with a focus on training Clinical Officers. Today, it is a training ground for Community Midwives, Public and Environmental Health Officers and Enrolled and Registered Midwives.
Maridi County Hospital was upgraded to enable more mothers to give birth there (the maternity ward has doubled in size), to better control infectious diseases (new floors and walls can be easily cleaned), and to ensure access to clean water. The hospital currently has 100 beds.
50 girls were enrolled in a new secondary school focused on science education. The school is in the Western Equatoria region of South Sudan, and is aiming to train 200 girls by 2016. It is the only girls boarding school for science in South Sudan.
A mother and child health project in Terekeka county, the poorest and least served part of South Sudan, led to a 3% reduction in child mortality and a 2% reduction in maternal mortality.
1,662 medical consultations and 449 operations were completed by Amref Health Africa as part of our clinical outreach program in South Sudan. In addition, on-the-job training was provided to 81 doctors, 263 nurses and clinical officers and 32 laboratory technicians. The clinical outreach program provides specialist support and training to 14 national and state hospitals in South Sudan.