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Women’s clinics in South Sudan are victims of a chaotic world

Minkaman – In a country with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, more than 200,000 small reproductive health clinics are about to close. Concerned-looking mothers know all too well what will happen next.

“If hospitals were closed, we would be poorer and die more,” said a pregnant woman who identified herself only as Chuti. She had her monthly check-ups at Minkaman Her Reproductive Health Clinic in this town on the White Nile, but this may be the last time.

The UN has said it intends to end operations of the clinic by December due to a lack of funding from Europe and other backers.From COVID-19 to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, This is just one of the many casualties in developing countries, as humanitarian donors continue to face crises. The United Nations did not disclose the operating costs of the clinic.

Losses like clinics are very important to people in places like Mingkaman. Minkaman, like the rest of South Sudan, is struggling to cope with lingering insecurity, including the aftermath of a five-year civil war, climate change shocks such as widespread flooding, and shocks. Rate of sexual violence.

The UN Human Rights Commission in South Sudan said the war in Ukraine had drastically cut funding for emergency medical care for those who had been sexually assaulted. “Sexual violence is not on the decline. The commission also argues that the government is not investing in basic services such as health care.

This reproductive health clinic is located in the capital of Awerial district in central South Sudan and serves communities primarily displaced by civil war and floods. Where women who once gave birth at home now come to give birth to their children. It is also where assaulted women come for care.

According to the World Health Organization, South Sudan’s maternal mortality rate was 789 per 100,000 live births in 2019. That’s more than double her rate in her more developed neighbor Kenya, according to UN data, but the U.S. rate was 23 per 100,000 live births in her 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. .

At least 250 women give birth at Minkaman Clinic each month, said Teresa Achuei, site manager for IMA World Health, the organization that runs the facility. She said she knew only three women in the area who died in childbirth, all outside the clinic.

Now, she said, hundreds of women could be at risk. There will be many deaths in the area if the facilities are closed,” she told the Associated Press during a visit in mid-October.

The clinic was established in 2014, a year after the civil war began in South Sudan. Installed in tents as a temporary way to serve those displaced by the fighting, they remain makeshift but work around the clock.

Located on one of South Sudan’s muddy highways, it is the center of activity for Mingkaman, a community without reliable electricity and running water. The military exists to respond to flare-ups of violence. Many women support their families by collecting and selling firewood from nearby forests or working in modest local hotels.

Several women have expressed concerns about the clinic closing.

Akuany Bol, who gave birth to three children, said: She looked miserable as she waited for her midwife to examine the child.

Clinical director Andrew Quall said the facility receives an average of 70 to 80 patients per day. Often he receives 20 patients a day, or twice as many beds as he does.

Some women have to be treated on the ground.

Kuol said clinics are facing shortages of medicines such as malaria drugs, post-rape drugs and prenatal drugs.

The nearest hospital is in the neighboring city of Bor in Jonglei province, where the clinic’s more complicated cases are sent. Getting there is also complicated. It can take a boat an hour to cross the Nile because there are no bridges between states.

As with many countries in South Sudan, travel can be difficult. And the current situation means that few people can easily migrate for medical or other reasons.

“These (displaced) are not going anywhere because it’s not safe and there’s flooding,” said James Manuel Agup, Awerial County Health Commissioner here in Lakes State. He urged UN partners to continue supporting the facility to save lives.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/10/30/womens-clinic-in-south-sudan-a-casualty-of-distracted-world/ Women’s clinics in South Sudan are victims of a chaotic world

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