JUBA – Geneva-based think-tank Small Arms Survey (SAS) released a 2012 report ‘Women’s Security in South Sudan’. The report said, “South Sudan has the worst reported maternal mortality rate in the world.” The national survey that was carried out in 2006 saying “2,054 deaths per 100,000 live births may have been an underestimation.”
Caroline Delany, a health specialist with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in South Sudan said, “more women die in child birth, per capita, in South Sudan, than in any country in the world.” Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in South Sudan funded a raft of maternal health programmes. CIDA strives for human rights, democracy, good governance and supports gender equality.
The report added “many deaths are not reported, in part because 90 percent of women give birth away from formal medical facilities and without the help of professionally trained assistants.”
“One in seven South Sudanese women will die in pregnancy or childbirth, often because of infections (from puerperal fever and retained placenta), haemorrhaging, or obstructed births, with a lack of access to healthcare facilities playing a large role in their deaths,” SAS found.
"When we talk about security in South Sudan there is a tendency to focus on issues such as guns and militia groups. But real human security means protection from anything that threatens health and wellbeing. In South Sudan there is nothing that poses greater threat to a woman's life than getting pregnant," says Small Arms Survey (SAS) researcher Lydia Stone.
“Midwives can prevent up to 90 percent of maternal deaths where they are authorized to practice their competencies and play a full role during pregnancy, childbirth and after birth,” the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in South Sudan said in a May report on maternal mortality.
At the maternity ward in Juba Teaching Hospital, staff members say there are not enough (or the right) drugs, and never enough trained staff.
Julia Amatoko who is one of the registered midwives in South Sudan said, “We are just a few and a lot of mothers are coming.” “The beds are not enough for the mothers, she added. “We have just eight beds for the first stage of labour and for the post-natal mother,” she said.
UNFPA report that South Sudan has just eight registered midwives therefore lack of professional midwives in the community caused needles death Amatoko said. “Those who are TBA’s are not able to cope with the serious cases, like when the mothers have post-partum haemorrhage,” she continued.
Giving birth even at the country’s leading hospital is a lottery, especially at night. “I’ve been here for three months, and two mothers died, in the night,” she said, due to a lack of human resources.
In South Sudan, girls are often married off in their early teens, the number of children they have is often not up to them.
“A married woman of childbearing age is expected to become pregnant at least once every three years, and to continue until menopause,” the SAS report found.
The Upper Nile Times