The Italian Director of Cooperation for International Development Dr Mauro Ghirotti told the press on Friday in Juba that women are the foundation of the society and therefore need special care.
He added that women face a myriad of problems in South Sudan, saying the government of Italy has been supporting the South Sudanese health sector since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Dr Ghirotti said Italy has trained 40 South Sudanese midwives in Alexandria, Egypt.
The Director General at the Government of Southern Sudan’s Ministry of Health said child and maternal mortality remain a big threat in South Sudan.
He cited Lakes, Warrap, Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Western Equatoria states as the most affected.
He pointed out the acute shortage of mid wives in South Sudan, saying the semi-autonomous region has only ten qualified midwives.
“The health sector requires immediate intervention. We inherited poor infrastructure, human resource and inadequate equipment”, he said.
The UNCEF Director for South Sudan Dr Yasmin Ali said the UN agency has allocated funds to upgrade midwives in January next year.
She added that the funds will also be used to support immunisation and maternal health projects.