The project aims to reduce the number of mothers and newborns who die in South Sudan. It includes planning, conducting, and reporting on two national surveys: a survey of the causes of death among women of childbearing age and an assessment of the need for emergency obstetric and newborn care. The project also helps to improve the ability of the national Ministry of Health and the National Bureau of Statistics to plan and manage surveys and needs assessments and to analyze and apply the data collected. With reliable and accurate information about deaths linked to pregnancy and childbirth and the need for emergency obstetric and newborn care, the government and donors can better target their efforts to save the lives of women and newborns. The information collected through this project helps the national and state-level Ministries of Health develop five-year plans for making emergency obstetric and newborn care more available. This project is part of Canada’s maternal, newborn, and child health commitment.
Results achieved as of March 2016 include: The first assessment on Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care (EmONC) needs in South Sudan was planned and conducted with over 400 facilities offering maternal health services in both the public and private sector (including not-for-profit organizations) participating. The final draft of this assessment was completed and has provided a wealth of information using indicators from the World Health Organization (WHO) Monitoring Emergency Obstetric Care: A Handbook. For example: (1) the number of fully functioning facilities needed for the entire population of the country; (2) the locations of these facilities to determine equitable distribution; (3) the extent to which pregnant women, including those with major obstetric complications, are accessing these facilities for delivery; (4) whether enough critical services (for example, caesarean deliveries and blood transfusion) are being provided; and (5) whether there is emergency newborn care available and the quality of the care is adequate.
This assessment has helped to identify EmONC services that are needed to reduce maternal and newborn mortality, and has provided evidence to assist in the planning of maternal and newborn health services across the country. It has also been used to produce five-year EmONC Investment Plans for all 10 states in South Sudan, which will be used as tools for resource mobilization and coordination of partners working on strengthening EmONC services across the country.