This article was last updated on May 28, 2022
By Jok P Mayom
JUBA, 18 February 2016 [Gurtong]-The 24-hour reproductive health clinic received with enthusiasm and appreciation from the community during its opening offers skilled services for safe delivery to Sudanese refugee women living in the camp.
“The community is very happy with the clinic. It’s close to them and even during the night they can come,” said Sudana, one of the Medair Midwife Assistants who lives in the camp as well.
Medair runs two clinics in Yusif Batil camp, which provide outpatient care to the entire camp population of 40,000 refugees.
Ms. Jillian Lynaugh, Medair Health and Nutrition Project Manager said, “The facility is within the camp. That’s a big change. The community has never been able to bring the women to a 24-hour facility with skilled support within the camp.”
“Previously, refugee women sometimes avoided going to the hospital for delivery. Some had to travel across the entire camp, facing a short but sometimes dangerous journey” said Jillian.
“…..By establishing the facility within the camp, Medair aims to enable more women to come to search skilled assistance and deliver their babies safely” Jillian added.
“At the clinic, the women are encouraged to stay 24 hours, the time majority of pregnancy-related deaths happens after childbirth. Monitoring the health of the mother and baby allows Medair staff to intervene with medical care if needed”.
“In addition, we can share important messages such as the importance of early breastfeeding and encourage the mothers to ensure immunization of their new-borns,” says Sarah Woods, Health Manager of the facility.
“Medair does everything it can to help women during the vulnerable time of pregnancy” Woods added.
“The community is really owning and protecting the clinic. The Camp Chairman Mr. Ahmed Madjoub and umdas stayed for a night at the clinic and they come by regularly, which really shows their commitment” recounts Jillian.
“In the past two weeks, 51 healthy babies were delivered in the clinic. We are extremely grateful for being able to support the women in Yusuf Batil camp” she adds.
Medair has also opened a 24-hour delivery clinic in Abayok, a displacement settlement in Renk County.
“The refugee and host communities we are serving are very excited about these free services for pregnant women. They say that now they have a place to go. It’s encouraging to know our work is making a lifesaving difference” says Curtis Tyler, Medair Deputy Country Director.
At the end of 2015, one provider of health services had to reprioritize services and this left a gap in reproductive health services for refugee women. Medair decided to fill this gap by introducing delivery services day and night at one of their clinics in the camp.
Last week, a ceremony was organized by the Medair midwives to celebrate the opening of the clinic.
The community leaders, traditional birth attendants, and numerous women living in the camp attended the event and celebrated the opening with speeches, music and dancing.
“We are very happy with the maternity clinic in our community,” said the Camp Chairman Mr. Ahmed.
South Sudan has an astonishingly high Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) with one out of 50 women dies in child birth. The Country is recorded with the highest MMR of 2,054 per 100,000 live births according to the 2008 National Statistics.