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Safer Childbirth in South Sudan

Childbirth in South Sudan
The number one cause of death for women in South Sudan is complications from pregnancy and childbirth. This is detrimental to the child’s health as they grow up without a mother, and the complications can cause problems for the child and their health as well. The country as a whole ranks fifth in the world for maternal mortality rates.

One common complication of childbirth in South Sudan is postpartum hemorrhaging. This is a dangerous amount of blood loss from persistent bleeding after giving birth. This can cause death for both the child and the mother. Most midwives and care providers in South Sudan do not have the training to treat complications like these. Currently, a well-trained healthcare worker delivers only about one in five births.

Maternal complications in South Sudan needed to be addressed, and UNICEF, along with its partners, has acted on the matter by providing the country’s medical facilities with maternal medical kits. The kit is said to help childbirth in South Sudan become safe for both mother and baby.

So far, 3,000 maternal medical kits have been sent to health facilities in the northern region of the country. The kits are provided by UNICEF Germany and have critical items to help midwives properly treat pregnant women, including folic acid, anti-malarial drugs and oxytocin. The expectant mothers also receive a kit that includes soap, baby clothes, blankets and a plastic sheet.

The kits are a crucial necessity for women in South Sudan, as a very small percentage of pregnant women in the nation have access to proper healthcare and labor and delivery services. Most of the midwives and neonatal care providers in the country lack the proper training for high-risk pregnancies and are not able to perform simple procedures that can save the mother’s life during delivery. There is also a shortage of essential medicines and supplies, which the kits are alleviating. By addressing these needs, the maternal mortality rate can be greatly reduced and ensure better outcomes for mothers and infants in South Sudan.

– Chloe Turner

Photo: Flickr