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. The consortium aims to provide a scalable working model for this college that offers a 3-year diploma for Registered Nursing and Midwifery and is envisioned to be extended to other strategic locations within the newly independent country of South Sudan. This graduated level of nurses and midwives aims to fill the gap of professional skilled care services, destroyed as a result of more than two decades of civil strife and war.
From the beginning of Real Medicine’s involvement with the Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery (JCONAM), as both a project founder and partner, the idea behind establishing this college was to develop an institute that would provide a long-term solution towards addressing South Sudan’s high maternal mortality rate by increasing access to and quality of human resources for health. The first class of nurses and midwives graduated in August 2013.
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