Delegation of the European Union to Sudan

On International Women Day (IWD): Story about Hadia's journey in saving the lives of mothers and newborn babies in Darfur

12/03/2019 - 11:50
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Once I graduate I will return home to West Darfur,I feel confident in my abilities to not only save the lives of children and their mothers, but also to educate the community on pregnancy and the health risks that it can cause.”

“I have personally experienced the loss of a family member as a result of complications due to child birth and understand the realities and importance of safe delivery”.

The Project ‘Improve the Reproductive Health Status of Vulnerable Populations in Darfur’ is funded by the European Union and aims at improving access to quality maternal and neonatal health services in North, West and Central Darfur States through supporting midwifery and nursing training.

Midwives such as Hadia (21-years-old), currently training at the Umdorman Maternity Hospital in Khartoum, are essential to ensure reduction maternal, newborn and neonatal mortality and complications rates across the state. The project is targeting the most vulnerable 200 communities in 21 localities in the three States of Darfur.

Sudan can be a difficult place to be a pregnant mother and newborn child. 76.5 percent of under-five deaths are infant deaths (52 children die per, 1,000 live births). The main causes of these deaths are prematurity, pneumonia, birth asphyxia, neonatal sepsis, diarrhea, congenital anomalies and malaria.

In order to preserve the lives of both mother and child, the first line defense must come from the midwife delivering the baby. The main role of a midwife is to monitor and ensure safe pregnancy, assist safe and clean delivery for both mother and the newborn baby, monitor and ensure safe post-partum period for the baby and the mother, early referral of cases with complications. In addition to health education and awareness, raising for the local communities on issues related to the health of mothers and children. By doing so, midwives will be the corner stone of the reduction of maternal and child mortality.

“I have personally experienced the loss of a family member as a result of complications due to child birth. I understand the realities and importance of a safe delivery more than others”, says Hadia, as she explains her motivation to become a trained midwife. “Once I graduate I will return home to West Darfur. Having already taken part in 30 deliveries, I feel confident in my abilities to not only save the lives of children and their mothers, but also to educate the community on pregnancy and the health risks that it can cause.”

So far 28 midwifery trainers have been trained; 200 midwifery students have completed their pre-service (basic) training in Khartoum; 50 medical doctors and 50 medical assistants received training on emergency obstetrics and newborn care and life saving skills; through the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with UNICEF and the European Union. Also, 15 locality health managers received training on managerial and early referral skills and provided with IT and social mobilization equipment, to improve data collection, analysis and documentation and community awareness raising.

 

Khartoum, March 10,2019

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