During this quarter, RMF sponsored first, second, and third-year nursing and midwifery students at the Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery (JCONAM) through:
During this quarter, staff prepared the schedule and the facility to receive 30 nursing and 30 midwifery first-year students recruited to join JCONAM at the beginning of next quarter (July). With the inclusion of second-year midwifery students on the Maternity ward’s delivery roster, students are able to conduct/participate in 10-20 supervised deliveries per day. These numbers are, however, meant to increase as JCONAM looks into expanding the number of practice sites in the near future.
Several years of experience derived from working with JCONAM and other partners has enabled RMF to develop a vision of increasing its level of support in South Sudan. The Ministry of Health, through the support of RMF and other stakeholders, is working to replicate JCONAM in other states. This will translate into continued growth in the number of nursing and midwifery diploma institutes in South Sudan and potentially new nursing/midwifery college partnerships for RMF.
During this quarter, staff coordinated a meeting held with RMF Founder and CEO Dr. Martina C. Fuchs and college master trainers (RHC/RMC and psycho trauma trainers). The meeting with Dr. Fuchs newly motivated trainers and encouraged them to continue training college students on the aspects of RHC/RMC and psycho trauma support.
The two college tutors were provided with the Health eVillages preloaded tablets and are able do quick reference checks during lectures and clinical work. They are also able to supervise and mentor the nurses/midwives which in turn has improved patient care in the facility, as healthcare professionals are able to do quick reference checks and provide health education using the devices.
RMF procures and stocks the JCONAM dispensary with essential medicines; the students and the college staff receive medication from JCONAM for simple medical conditions. During this quarter, staff delivered an adequate quantity of essential medicines for JCONAM students, teachers, and non-teaching staff. Students and staff members benefit from these readily available medicines in any medical emergency.
RMF will continue the sponsorship of JCONAM nursing and midwifery students throughout their first, second, and third-year studies. Upon graduation after the three-year course, registered nurses and midwives have been and will continue to provide much-needed services within South Sudan’s states and counties at the facility level. The services offered by this cadre of graduates are also expected to extend into the community through health education, community mobilization, and home care, among others.
South Sudan’s maternal mortality rate remains one of the highest in the world – 789 women per 100,000 live births. This means that 1 in 50 women will die from pregnancy-related causes, as compared to 1 in 4,900 in developed countries. Currently in South Sudan, only about 19% of deliveries take place at a health facility, and despite improvements, there is still a critical shortage of midwives throughout the country. Real Medicine Foundation initiated and co-founded South Sudan’s first-ever accredited college of nursing and midwifery with St. Mary’s Hospital Juba Link, Isle of Wight, and the college was established in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of South Sudan, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP, WHO, CIDA, and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and in partnership with and with financial support from World Children’s Fund.
Through the support of the consortium of partners, currently 81 students are fully sponsored for the three-year education program. This includes the provision of school uniforms, books, stationery, tutors, and monthly allowances.