South Sudan

Tomorrow’s Nurses & Midwives in South Sudan

September 10, 2013

Dr. Taban Martin Vitale and Okang Wilson Ezekiel

Project Background:

South Sudan’s maternal mortality remains the highest in the world, at 2,054 deaths per 100,000 live births; 200,000 women die in childbirth every year according to the 2006 South Sudan Health Survey. High levels of maternal mortality are linked to: poor access to quality reproductive health services, including family planning, access to skilled birth attendants and access to emergency obstetric and neonatal care. Fewer than 20 certified nurses and even fewer registered midwives, 4 in total, exist in all of South Sudan, a population of 9.6 million.

Photo: A second year midwifery student examining a mother during routine ANC

Real Medicine Foundation, in collaboration with the Government of South Sudan, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP, WHO, St. Mary’s Hospital Juba Link, Isle of Wight, and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and in partnership with and with financial support from World Children’s Fund, has established South Sudan’s first ever accredited College of Nursing and Midwifery (JCONAM). 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 at filling the gap of professional skilled care services, destroyed as a result of the more than two decades of civil strife and war.

Project Objectives:

  • Provide model courses in Registered Nursing and Registered Midwifery in the first National Health Training Diploma Institute in South Sudan
  • Provide a curriculum recognized by all ministries associated with education in the ROSS (new designation for the new Republic of South Sudan, replacing GOSS)
  • Provide leading edge skills laboratory and library for the students
  • Provide improved clinical setting for student training
  • Provide highly qualified instructors and tutors for the duration of the three year program
  • Provide an unprecedented model of health care sector capacity building for South Sudan
  • Provide a sustainable solution to South Sudan’s Maternal and Infant Mortality Rate, the former, which is the highest in the world at 2,054/100,000 as per the 2006 South Sudan Household Survey.  Approximately 200,000 women die each year giving birth.

JCONAM students participating in HIV testing during the celebration of 2013 World Nursing and Midwifery Day

Summary of RMF/WCF-sponsored activities carried out during the reporting period undereach project objective (note any changes from original plans):

Implemented activities in line with RMF sponsored activities and project objectives include:

  • Support to the Ministry of Health, Republic of South Sudan and project partners in the coordination and implementation of project activities over the reporting period.
  • Continued facilitation of inter-linkages with UNFPA, MOH and other stakeholders in ensuring quality assurance in the implementation of both nursing and midwifery curricula in the diploma program.
  • Sponsorship of first, second and third year nursing and midwifery students at the Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery through provision of uniforms, skills laboratory equipment, clinical training equipment, books, stationery and Information Technology (IT) equipment.
  • Constructed a building to house/protect the new generator (donated by USAID) and janitorial supplies for the JCONAM students’ hostel.
  • Purchase of office supplies and scholastic materials for school management and all the nursing and midwifery students.
  • Coordination of RMF activities with other organizations and UN agencies supporting the Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery by participating in meetings and conferences.
  • Continued support of high speed WIFI internet services for JCONAM and Juba Teaching Hospital (JTH).

A midwifery student explaining to the next of kin about the progress of her patient who is in labor

Results and/or accomplishments achieved during this reporting period: 

  • All tutors and the nursing/ midwifery students are able to access internet services at the college without interruption through RMF’s sponsored WIFI service, with access to online learning materials and communication greatly improved.
  • Renewed MOU with the Ministry of Health for RMF’s work at JCONAM.
  • Adequate supply of clean pipe water at the student hostel following the rehabilitation of the water pump.
  • Removed first portion of Juba Teaching Hospital wastes that were spilling over on JCONAM grounds as well; initiated official waste management policy and guidelines at JTH.
  • The college is now able to print and produce students’ name tags and identity cards using the machine and consumables provided to them during the reporting quarter.
  • Provided scholastic materials to all the students.
  • Generator house constructed hence the students no longer experience frequent power interruptions in the hostel.
  • Collected and documented the profiles of the 30 third year nursing and midwifery students who are to graduate on 29th of August.  RMF plans on working closely with the JCONAM administration and the MOH to track the job placement of these new graduates, and assist where possible. RMF is also looking for sponsors to enable us to purchase reference materials, i.e. laptops and medical textbooks for their personal use, for these new graduates and create a support network for the alumni.
  • Provided RMF logo T-shirts to all the students and the college staff.
  • The college now has an implementing partner running the management of the college on behalf of the MOH.
  • Instituted feeding program for the students minimizing time wasted by the students while preparing meals.
  • Coordination of RMF activities and participation in meetings/workshops together with other NGOs and UN agencies supporting JCONAM and other National Health Training Institutes (NHTIs).

Number served/number of direct project beneficiaries: 

  • Through the support of the consortium of partners, currently 135 students are fully sponsored for the three-year education program. This includes the provision of school uniforms, books, stationery, tutors and monthly allowances.
  • The project provides employment opportunities for both the teaching and non-teaching staff. This provides economic sustainability for the staffs and their families.
  • JCONAM was established in 2010 by the consortium of partners on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Republic of South Sudan. Project activities have so far been implemented in light of an eventual exit strategy by the partners and complete implementation by the Ministry of Health. This is to ensure its sustainable development and continuity by the relevant office in the Ministry of Health.
  • Upon graduation after the three-year course, the registered nurses and midwives will provide a much needed service within the states and counties at facilities 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.
  • With the inclusion of the second year midwifery students into the maternity ward delivery roster, the students are able to conduct/participate in 10-20 supervised deliveries per day. These numbers are however meant to increase as the college looks into expanding the number of practice sites in the near future.

Project photos:

Construction of the generator shade at the JCONAM hostel


First year nursing students inserting a cannula in a child admitted due to severe malaria.

Students having lunch on campus

A student wearing a T-shirt with the new RMF logo

Country Page: South Sudan Initiative Page: Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery