A 15 year old girl in South Sudan is more likely to die during childbirth than to complete her education.
20 years of civil war has left South Sudan with great needs and nowhere is this more evident than in the area of health. 1 in 7 children will die before their fifth birthday, usually from preventable diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria and maternal mortality is one of the highest in the world: 1 in 28 women die giving birth.
There is an urgent need to address this lack of basic healthcare and, though the challenge is great, we have begun to support and implement three projects which we hope will have a dramatic impact.
1. Women and Children
AID’s healthcare projects focus on improvements that will benefit women and children as we believe this is the most effective way to improve health for all. If mothers are kept alive and healthy then families are looked after and child mortality is dramatically reduced.
2. Training Health Workers
The Government of South Sudan (GoSS) has found that one of the key obstacles to improving healthcare in the country is a lack of trained staff. There are fewer than 190 doctors in the whole country, serving a population of 9 million. This means that less than 50% of the population has access to healthcare within 10km. AID is supporting the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA), who are training more health workers to increase the proportion of the population that has access to quality healthcare.
3. Working with Communities
The high rate of child mortality in South Sudan could easily be prevented by simple changes. Central to reducing child mortality is increasing community understanding of basic hygiene and sanitation practices, such as hand washing, building latrines and cleanliness at home. For these initiatives to work, whole communities must be assured of their value and committed to implementing change. AID has initiated and now supports a programme which works with communities to develop practices which will become integrated into people’s lives. Read about the Trumpeter Community Health Programme in Juba.