South Sudan: RMF UNICEF Integrated MNCH and PMTCT in Ayod and Pibor Counties
Committed to Women and Children’s Health: Q1 2018
June 11, 2018
Odongo Bonny Oryem
Summary of Activities
In September 2016, RMF entered into a partnership agreement with UNICEF to rejuvenate the primary healthcare centers in Gorwai (Ayod County) and Pibor (Pibor County) in order to provide quality MNCH (maternal, neonatal, and child health) and PMTCT (prevention of mother to child transmission) services for communities in need. Both health centers were rejuvenated and began providing these services in December 2016.
However, when UNICEF funding ended in July 2017, RMF was forced to limit our MNCH/PMTCT services to Pibor, and in February 2018, MNCH and PMTCT project operations ceased. RMF continues to provide nutrition services in both counties, and we are pursuing funding from IMA World Health and donors in hopes of restoring much-needed MNCH and PMTCT services in Ayod and Pibor.
- In collaboration with the Boma State Ministry of Health, RMF provided pharmaceuticals and consumables for Pibor PHCC (primary healthcare center).
- RMF facilitated and maintained Pibor PHCC, which continued to provide quality maternal, neonatal, and child health services through February 7, 2018 (two months without UNICEF funding).
- Supported and maintained the EPI (expanded program on immunization) cold chain system in Pibor PHCC, which continued to function throughout the quarter.
- Facilitated and participated in a national immunization campaign targeting children under 5 years of age in Pibor County.
- Facilitated and conducted 11 community outreach sessions in Pibor.
- Procured and delivered an adequate amount of essential foodstuffs for RMF’s relocated staff (those recruited from Juba and deployed in Pibor), since basic commodities are not available in these areas.
- Facilitated the transportation of pharmaceuticals and consumables to Pibor PHCC through regular UNHAS flights.
- Facilitated in-country transportation of health staff from Pibor to Juba and back through regular UNHAS flights.
- Continued facilitation of our health team’s participation in all coordination activities/meetings at national and state levels.
- Provided an adequate communication allowance, which enhanced good coordination between Juba and the field site.
In spite of limited funding and operations, the integrated MNCH/PMTCT program in Pibor was able to achieve the following milestones during this reporting quarter:
Committed to Women and Children’s Health
Pibor PHCC (primary healthcare center), rehabilitated by RMF in the fourth quarter of 2016, was maintained and continued to provide quality maternal, neonatal, and child health services through February 7, 2018.
Best Practices Implemented
RMF’s trained healthcare workers continued to be mentored throughout the quarter and to provide quality healthcare services based on South Sudan’s Ministry of Health (MOH) policies and international best practices.
Committed to the Community
11 community outreach sessions were conducted in Pibor during the reporting quarter.
Aiming to Cure
A total of 511 curative consultations were provided (319 patients under five and 192 above five years of age).
Received Pharmaceuticals and Consumables
Maintaining Positive Relationships
Pibor PHCC continued to receive pharmaceuticals and consumables from the Boma State Ministry of Health, due to the good working relationship between RMF and the SMOH.
Safely Storing Vaccines
Targeting Polio and Measles
The EPI cold chain system, established by RMF in Pibor PHCC, continued to function and provide safe storage of vaccines to promote effective immunization services for children under five and women of childbearing age.
This resulted in more children being reached during the national immunization campaign, which targeted polio and measles.
Real Medicine Foundation has been working in South Sudan since 2009, when we initiated and cofounded Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery (JCONAM), the first accredited college of its kind in South Sudan. Through our implementation and support of JCONAM, Juba Teaching Hospital, and a UNICEF (and WFP) malnutrition treatment and prevention program in Jonglei State, RMF has worked to preserve the health and dignity of South Sudanese, especially mothers and children, as the country struggles to rebuild after decades of civil war and the last conflict of mid-December 2013. In early July 2016, fighting broke out again in the capital city of Juba, and millions of South Sudanese became refugees or internally displaced persons, fleeing their homes in search of safety and food security.
In spite of the increasing violence, scarcity of food, and financial instability (as of August 2016, inflation reached 900%), RMF has maintained a strong presence in South Sudan, fighting as best we can to lower the maternal mortality rate (the highest in the world) and infant mortality rate. In September 2016, RMF began a new program, entering into a partnership agreement with UNICEF to rejuvenate the primary healthcare centers in Gorwai and Pibor in order to provide quality MNCH (maternal, neonatal, and child health) and PMTCT (prevention of mother to child transmission) services for the communities in need.
- Rehabilitate the healthcare facilities in Pibor and Gorwai to provide quality healthcare services
- Provide essential medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and consumables
- Provide quality, integrated MNCH and PMTCT services in accordance with national MOH (Ministry of Health) and international standards
- Build the capacity of the County Health Departments (CHD) and their staff involved in provision of healthcare services