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Midwives Want To Reduce Maternal Mortality In South Sudan

South Sudan has added more than 800 midwives and nurses since 2010.

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Midwives, SUDAN
A woman holding her baby in a nursery watches another newborn who is attached to a ventilator at Juba Teaching Hospital in Juba, April 3, 2013. South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. VOA

More than 60 people graduated in Juba this week with diplomas in midwifery and nursing. Their goal? To reduce South Sudan’s high rate of maternal mortality.

Eight men were among the 66 graduates of the Kajo Keji Health Science Institute — an unusual occurrence in South Sudan, where midwifery is associated almost exclusively with women.

Samuel Ladu Morish, 26, says he felt he could no longer sit by and watch young women die because of childbirth.

chikungunya, maternal mortality
A woman sits inside a mosquito tent in the town of Abyei, Sudan. VOA

“A lot of mothers are dying so [for] me particularly it pains me. That is why I felt I have to do that course, to try my level best to stop maternal mortality rate in South Sudan,” Morish told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.

Twenty-one-year-old Leju Henry, another male graduate, said he’s been asked many times why he decided to pursue a course in midwifery. Like Morish, Henry said he wants to help South Sudanese women, especially those who suffer complications in child labor.

“Most people think midwifery is a job for females only, but that is not the truth. … the definition of midwifery [is] that a midwife simply means someone who assists in child above all, but not necessarily means a fellow woman,” Henry said.

According to figures published by the World Health Organization in 2017, South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world — 789 women per 100,000 live births.

south sudan's war, chikungunya, maternal mortality
In this photo taken Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, the winner of Miss World South Sudan 2017, Arual Longar, poses for a portrait at a shelter for street children in Juba, South Sudan. VOA

The rate has actually fallen in recent years, a trend that Makur Koriom, the undersecretary of South Sudan’s Ministry of Health, attributes to increased training of midwives and nurses.

Also Read: Sudan Suffers From A Chikungunya Outbreak

He says South Sudan has added more than 800 midwives and nurses since 2010.

“We believe that’s important, because to address the current health challenges, investing in human resource is very important. But, of course, investment at [the] secondary level without concurrent development at the community level also will not yield [good results], because most of the issues happen at the community level,” Koriom told VOA. (VOA)

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Most Pregnant Women Depend on Their Mothers For Guidance: Study

The researchers performed in-depth interviews with pregnant women and their mothers while following the pregnant women for nine months

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Pregnant Women
The study also found that Pregnant Women with higher education still found a great value in what their mothers could tell them about how their bodies would be changing and were a valuable source for details related to their familial or genetic inheritance -- information that only their mothers could contribute. Pixabay

Most Pregnant Women still rely on their mothers for emotional support and guidance — many weighing mother’s advice as equal to or even over medical recommendation, a new study suggests.

For the study, published in the journal Reproduction, the research team from University of Cincinnati, investigated the complexities within mother-daughter dynamics during pregnancy in relation to potentially harmful advice from many pregnancy guidebooks, looking specifically at the emotional and health care risks to certain groups.

The researchers performed in-depth interviews with pregnant women and their mothers while following the pregnant women for nine months.

“I found that most pregnancy self-help books, best known for their month-by-month guidance on fetal development and lifestyle coaching, are also empathic about following medical advice exclusively over what they consider the outdated advice of a mother or friend,” said study researcher Danielle Bessett from University of Cincinnati.

“This advice is limited and can result in an increased level of stress and discomfort for some soon-to-be moms,” Bessett added.

While looking at two groups — pregnant women with at least a bachelor’s degree and women with no college or higher education — Bessett found that all pregnant women took steps to have a healthy pregnancy.

But while the researcher identified a pervasive link to a mother’s influence on her daughter’s health and well-being in both groups, it was especially strong for minorities and women with less than a college degree who had little trust in their medical personnel.

Women with higher education engaged with their mothers in ways much more similar to how they are framed in common self-help books.

“Self-help books are giving us a really terrible picture of soon-to-be grandmothers that pregnant women themselves don’t really fully endorse regardless of who they are,” said Bessett.

“I argue that books are strictly endorsing medical guidance exclusively and that’s not the only place where women are getting their information,” Besset added.

 

Pregnant Women
Most Pregnant Women still rely on their mothers for emotional support and guidance — many weighing mother’s advice as equal to or even over medical recommendation, a new study suggests. Pixabay

While highly educated women engaged with their mothers in a more limited way, women with lower education engaged with their mothers more in-depth about everything and ranked their mothers as the most valuable source of information, the study said.

ALSO READ: Marine Animals Can Help Humans Monitor Oceans: Study

The study also found that women with higher education still found a great value in what their mothers could tell them about how their bodies would be changing and were a valuable source for details related to their familial or genetic inheritance — information that only their mothers could contribute.

“One of the most distinctive differences between the two groups showed how much more women with higher education valued how scientific information and modern technology could contribute to a healthy pregnancy,” said Bessett. (IANS)