The South Sudan Program
Training Doctors, Nurses and Health-workers
Title National Institute of Health Sciences, Jonglei, South Sudan
Country: Uganda, South Sudan
Dates: Beginning 2016
To train medical personnel to address the critical gaps in human resources in the health system of the Republic of South Sudan.
This project primarily focuses on developing the health of the people of South Sudan.
The healthcare system of South Sudan barely exists, leaving much of the population with poor or almost no access to basic health care services or primary care in any form. Given this situation much of the burden of healthcare delivery has so far shifted to International agencies and NGOs. The result is that the health of the people of South Sudan, especially those who live in remote rural locations (nearly 80% of the country) is extremely poor; going by all health indicators.
What are the Statistics?
South Sudan has the highest Maternal Mortality rates in the world which was estimated at 2016 per 100,000 births in the year 2006. A 15 year old girl in South Sudan is more likely to die in childbirth than complete school. Similarly, all the child mortality data suggests that up to 10-15% of the children will die before their fifth birthday. Only 17% of children complete primary immunisations. There are recurrent outbreaks of measles, cholera and any number of infectious diseases. These health statistics reflects the inability of the healthcare system to provide essential services.
Action and Strategy
This project primarily focuses on developing the health of the people of South Sudan. One of the main issues for the lack of essential medical care provision is the lack of properly trained medical workers. The funding for this program is aimed at ensuring the completion of medical studies for nearly 70 Sudanese health workers to begin to confront the health issues of this fledgling African nation.
The National Institute of Health Sciences is a project of HealthServe Australia in partnership with the ICMDA Health Initiatives South Sudan (a registered local NGO and subsidiary of ICMDA) and is a public-private partnership with the Ministry of Health, Government of South Sudan.
Due to local instability, the Institute was relocated to Kampala in May 2014 and is currently being hosted by the Mengo Hospital, Kampala. The students are all from South Sudan and have been selected through the national selection process for national health training institutes conducted each year by the Ministry of Health, Government of South Sudan. .
The Institute currently educates 68 young South Sudanese nationals to qualify as professional clinical officers, nurses and midwives by 2017/18. The Institute follows the national curriculum as prescribed by the Directorate of Training, Government of South Sudan. On completion of the course all students have a service agreement to serve with the Government of South Sudan in hospital and health centres in South Sudan. The large groups of people being displaced and the inability of the government and relief agencies to provide even basic health facilities makes the future work of these students all the more crucial.
Progress: January 2017
Semester started 23rd January for 49 students; 18 doing their Diploma of clinical medicine, 16 nursing and 15 midwifery. All these students will be taking their final exams in June this year. We are planning two special occasion in June to celebrate graduation; a thanksgiving service and an Institute Day. We are hoping Dr Burke will be here to represent HSA. Dr Owen lewis has been with us for a monthand has offered great support and encouragement.
More funds are still required to cover the ongoing costs of the Institute; however we are most grateful for the funds already given to enable the current group of students to complete their studies and begin work amongst some of the poorest communities in Africa.
Dr Anil Cherian