The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Italy and UNOPS continue support to healthcare in South Sudan
This week the Italian Development Cooperation (IDC) in collaboration with UNOPS announced a donation of two vehicles to the Italian NGO, Doctors with Africa, CUAMM.
CUAMM has been supporting the strengthening of local health systems in South Sudan since 2007, helping to improve the delivery of basic and emergency healthcare services across the country.
Dr. Dario Mariani, an IDC representative, attended the handover event in the presence of UNOPS Head of Programme, Richard Martin Schroeder, and CUAMM Deputy Country Manager, Paolo Ferrari.
Maternal mortality rate in South Sudan is high at 2,243 per 100,000 live births. A child born in South Sudan has a 25 percent chance of dying before age five.
What's more, pregnant women often experience considerable time delays when trying to reach a health facility. They travel long distances by foot in search of health services, as many villages do not have roads and families do not have access to vehicles or public transportation; as such, many people die from treatable complications.
For several years IDC has supported the strengthening of basic health services, with a focus on improvement of maternal health and reduction of child mortality. IDC engaged UNOPS to renovate, maintain and equip selected health facilities and train medical personnel.
In a statement, Mr. Ferrari said: "This valuable donation of vehicles will allow CUAMM to effectively maintain and further enhance its intervention in support of health services delivery in different regions of South Sudan. CUAMM confirms its commitment in strengthening the local health system to make it responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable."
CUAMM is currently supporting three hospitals, 81 primary health care facilities, and a midwifery school in the country. The NGO focuses on local health system strengthening with the aim of ensuring access to basic and emergency health services. Particular attention is given to mothers and children and to vulnerable groups.
The initiative is fully aligned with Outcome 2, "Strengthening Social Services for the Most Vulnerable," of the Interim Cooperation Framework of the United Nations Country Team in South Sudan (2016-2017).