The growing population of Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, is now estimated to be 444,680, projected from the Population and Housing Census conducted in 2008. (There were 140,396 inhabitants in Juba and the immediate surrounding areas at that time). JCONAM educates candidates from all ten states and serves as the first college of its kind exclusively operated by South Sudanese in South Sudan to educate professionals to serve the country’s population of 10.16 million.
During this quarter RMF sponsored activities include:
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.
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.
The two college tutors continued to supervise and mentor the nurses/midwives provided with Health eVillages preloaded tablets, 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.
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. By virtue of its registration and autonomy, RMF will seek to partner with organizations/agencies, and most importantly, government elements, in the areas of health systems strengthening and sustainable economic empowerment as witnessed in its projects in other countries.
Upon graduation after the three-year course, the registered nurses and midwives 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.
JCONAM was co-founded by RMF and Juba Link in 2010, and established by the consortium of partners on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Republic of South Sudan. To date, project activities have been implemented with a planned exit strategy, working toward turning over complete implementation of these projects to the Ministry of Health. This is to ensure each project’s sustainable development and continuity by the relevant office in the Ministry of Health.
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.