A joint initiative of the United Nations and South Sudan is aiming to reduce
maternal mortality by deploying midwives throughout the country, providing
locals with the necessary skills to safely deliver babies, and improving the
health facilities available to the wider population.
One out of seven pregnant women dies due to pregnancy-related causes in South
Sudan. With less than 100 midwives for the entire country, there is an urgent
need for an increase in health workers to attend to the population’s needs.
To tackle this issue, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and South Sudan’s health
ministry organized a workshop last week to review their joint midwives project,
seeking to provide immediate solutions and discuss ways to address the problem
in the long-term.
UNFPA’s head of office in South Sudan, Deji Popoola, said that a lack of
midwifery skills and ill-equipped health centres pose a huge risk to mothers and
their unborn babies.
“A strong midwifery force with adequate competences could contribute greatly in
reducing maternal deaths,” Mr. Popoola said during the opening ceremony of the
workshop in the national capital of Juba.
“Ensuring access to midwifery at every birth, at all levels, is vital at this
moment of time,” he said, reaffirming UNFPA’s commitment to support efforts to
help midwives and improve midwifery services.
So far, the Capacity Placement of International United Nations Volunteer
Midwives Project has deployed 18 volunteer midwives across South Sudan.