Our work in South Sudan
The Republic of South Sudan has great potential, natural resources, and support from the international community. However, the health situation is dire.
Most health care facilities were destroyed during the civial war that ended in 2005 and there are few qualified health workers, leaving 11 million people with little or no medical care. AMREF works with South Sudan’s Ministry of Health to produce a national health care plan and train health workers, and managing a primary health care project serving 150,000 people.
Major health challenges
Preventable and treatable diseases are claiming lives. Malaria, meningitis, measles, yellow fever, and whooping cough are epidemic in some areas. Leprosy, river blindness, sleeping sickness, cholera, polio, and guinea worm are also re-emerging.
South Sudan has the highest maternal death rate in the world (2,054 mothers out of every 100,000 or - one in fifty - die during childbirth). This is caused by a severe lack of trained midwives, inadequate health facilities, and a high rate of teenage pregnancy.
There are very few government funds for health. The few hospitals and clinics that do exist are unevenly distributed – with rural areas more poorly served than urban ones.
HIV rates are low in South Sudan (2.6%), but a sharp rise is feared. Post-conflict conditions like a mobile population, demobilized soldiers, a lack of HIV/AIDS awareness, and a scarcity of condoms could fuel the spread of HIV.
The scope of our work in South Sudan
- Working with the Ministry of Health to train doctors, clinical officers, midwives, laboratory technicians, and pharmacists
- Providing safe water and sanitation to reduce water-borne diseases in Terekeka county by:
- Constructing latrines to improve environmental health and sanitation
- Sinking new wells and monitoring the quality of water
- Promoting health and hygiene through community hygiene educators
- Rebuilding primary health care centers and training community health workers in Terekeka county
- Providing up-to-date research on South Sudan’s health care needs, and working with the government on a health care plan to meet these needs.