Monday January 21, 2019
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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)

Next Story

Sleeping for Long Hours During Pregnancy Linked to Stillbirths

Progress in reducing stillbirth deaths has been slow but stillbirth is an urgent global health issue that should be at the centre of more research programmes, the researchers noted

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Pregnancy, air pollution
Sleeping for long hours during pregnancy linked to stillbirths. Pixabay

Sleeping more than nine hours per night during pregnancy may be associated with late stillbirth, suggests a new study.

This is because blood pressure reaches its lowest point during sleep which has been linked with foetal growth problems, preterm birth, and stillbirth.

The study, led by a team from the University of Michigan, explored how maternal sleep habits, including lengthy periods of sleep without waking more than once in the night, may be associated with foetal health independent of other risk factors.

Moreover, pregnant women often report waking up and getting up in the middle of the night.

Very disruptive sleep has also been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, including growth restriction and preterm growth.

Protein responsible for postpartum depression in pregnancy found
Representational image. IANS

“Our findings add to research indicating that maternal sleep plays a role in foetal well being. Studies aiming to reduce stillbirths should consider maternal sleep as this is a potentially modifiable risk factor,” said lead author Louise O’Brien, researcher at the varsity.

“Understanding the role of maternal sleep may help us identify interventions that would put us in a better position to advise women,” O’Brien added.

Also Read- #MeToo Strikes Where Virtue Means Lack Of Opportunity

For the study, reported in the journal Birth, the team involved 153 women who had experienced a late stillbirth (on or after 28 weeks of pregnancy) within the previous month and 480 women with an ongoing third-trimester pregnancy or who had recently delivered a live born baby during the same period.

Progress in reducing stillbirth deaths has been slow but stillbirth is an urgent global health issue that should be at the centre of more research programmes, the researchers noted. (IANS)