In South Sudan, due to conflict over nearly sixty years, the country has some of the worst health indicators in the world: with child mortality rate of 96 per 1000 live births, a maternal mortality rate of 789 per 100,000 live births and 75% of all children deaths due to preventable diseases. One in ten children die before age five. Two out of five children under five are malnourished and two out of five lactating or pregnant women are malnourished. This is due to insecurity and conflict as much of the country is very fertile and could sustain the food needs of the population. Half the population had insufficient access to health care services in 2019. South Sudan is the worst prepared country in the world to deal with the pandemic, according to UN sources.
The Catholic Health Training Institute, Wau, South Sudan which is managed by 3 sisters working for Solidarity with South Sudan, runs three-year programs training registered nurses and registered midwives.
Direct beneficiaries are 120 students at the Catholic Health Training Institute. Indirect are numerous persons assisted during clinical practice in two hospitals in Wau, South Sudan. Students are educated and provided with a highly sought diploma as health care professionals. 85% of graduates find employment after leaving CHTI. They are highly sought for their clinical skills. Student are coming from war torn areas where many live with families in UN Protection of Civilians sites or in camps for internally and externally displaced (Uganda) A good education helps to prevent human trafficking and early marriage. In addition, student live, study and work with persons from other tribes and religions leading them to respect and appreciate the diversity that is South Sudan.
In 2010, when the CHTI was opened, there were only 83 RNs and 19 RMs in the country. Since the first graduation in 2013, CHTI has graduated 154 RNs and 71 RMs. In 2019 alone CHTI, graduated 22% of all health care professionals in the country and all passed state exams with distinction or high credit. No failures. Training women as RNs and especially as RMs is making a significant difference for women and children throughout the country and in Nuba Mountains of Sudan.
Funds are Needed
Funds are needed to facilitate acceptance of more women students into the three-year program. Nearly 50 % of the student body are women up from 20% when the CHTI began in 2010. This is nearly a miracle since the literacy rate among women is 14% and many never go to school beyond grade 4. Requirements for students are a Secondary Certificate and proficiency in English. A bridging program in English is available to assist, especially women, students since many do their studies in Arabic as prescribed by the Khartoum government prior to independence in 2011.
Immediate Charitable Response
$26,000 would provide four scholarships for women students for one year.
Train a sufficient number of health care professionals to meet the health needs of South Sudan.