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. 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. 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 in good health, families are cared for and child mortality is dramatically reduced.
2. Training Health Workers
One of the key obstacles to improving healthcare in South Sudan 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 of their homes. AID has supported the training of health workers to increase the proportion of the population that has access to quality healthcare. AID support Doctor’s Anil and Shalini Cherian in their running of the Jonglei Health Sciences Institute (JHSI). This was previously the National Institute of Health Sciences (NHSI), Uganda. However, the facility was able to move back to South Sudan and reopen in March 2019 after tensions in South Sudan lessened considerably.
3. Working with Communities
The high rate of child mortality in South Sudan could easily be prevented by simple changes. For example, increasing community understanding of basic hygiene and sanitation practices is vital. 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. Click to read more about the Trumpeter Community Health Programme in Juba.