A Healthier Future for South Sudan's Families

by International Medical Corps
A Healthier Future for South Sudan's Families
A Healthier Future for South Sudan's Families
A Healthier Future for South Sudan's Families
A Healthier Future for South Sudan's Families
A Healthier Future for South Sudan's Families
A Healthier Future for South Sudan's Families
A Healthier Future for South Sudan's Families
A Healthier Future for South Sudan's Families
A Healthier Future for South Sudan's Families
A Healthier Future for South Sudan's Families

Project Report | Feb 20, 2018
Angel and Samiya: Pregnancy in Maban County

By Davis Nordeen | Resource Development Assistant

Angel (right) and Samiya
Angel (right) and Samiya

Giving birth and raising a child in Maban County, South Sudan, is a challenge fraught with risk. Angel and Samiya will attempt this feat this summer. Both are mothers in the first trimester of pregnancy—Angel with her second child and Samiya with her third. They are also refugees, who have fled the violence in the neighboring Blue Nile State of Sudan in search of a safe place to live.  

One would think that Maban County would not be this place. Located in the northwestern pocket of South Sudan, the region has been a site of persistent armed conflict, violations of human rights, forced displacement and intercommunal violence, including fighting in late 2016 which led to the death of over 30 people. Still, with the dire humanitarian crises in the region today, safety can be relative and for Angel and Samiya, Maban County was a welcome improvement.

Nonetheless, Maban County remains a treacherous place to have a child. Malnutrition and a lack of available reproductive health services due to the protracted conflict have left many mothers at risk of illness, birth complications and death. Moreover, the region’s lowland marshes flood during the rainy season, cutting of access to services, spreading water borne disease, and exacerbating the health risks for families and communities.  

International Medical Corps has been supporting vulnerable communities in Maban County since South Sudan’s civil war began in 2013, and today provides reproductive health care and mental health and psychosocial support services in Kaya, Gendrassa and Doro refugee camps. Along with Angel and Samiya, International Medical Corps helps to serve a refugee population of approximately 100,000 Sudanese who have fled into South Sudan’s Upper Nile State, with the majority being women and children.  

To help ensure the safety of pregnant and nursing women and their newborns, International Medical Corps provides 24/7 basic emergency obstetric and newborn care, prenatal and postnatal care, HIV/AIDs testing, and services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). From October to the beginning of January 2018, we delivered 154 newborns with skilled birthing attendants at our Kaya and Gendrassa clinics, and provided 382 mothers with prenatal consultations and 213 mothers with postnatal consultations. As a part of Angel’s and Samiya’s prenatal care, we provide them with folic acid tablets (seen in photo above) to help prevent birth defects of the spinal cord and brain.

While Angel and Samiya visit International Medical Corps’ clinic frequently and both have had children before, conditions in northwestern South Sudan change quickly and the future is never clear. Prolonged insecurity and failed harvests have led South Sudan’s lean season to start three months early this year, threatening another famine and jeopardizing the health of men, women and children across the country. The height of this food insecurity is anticipated for July and August—when Angel’s and Samiya’s babies are due.

We thank the GlobalGiving community for their support of our work in South Sudan as we provide lifesaving services to vulnerable mothers and children.

A mother receives medicine from our clinic in Doro
A mother receives medicine from our clinic in Doro
Inside our clinic at Doro refugee camp
Inside our clinic at Doro refugee camp
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Organization Information

International Medical Corps

Location: Los Angeles, CA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Kimberly Laney
Los Angeles , CA United States

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