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“If you save mothers, you save the nation”

South Sudan midwives at the UK Med neonatal, obstetric & gender-based violence training 2019
Midwives from Chukudum Hospital, South Sudan during a UK-Med neonatal, obstetric & gender-based violence training. (2019)

Today, is World Humanitarian Day. It is a day when we pay special tribute to the real-life heroes who have committed their lives to helping others in the most extreme circumstances throughout the world.

We wanted to introduce you to Brenda, a midwife in South Sudan who we met last year. She is the epitome of a real-life hero.

South Sudan has experienced years of civil war since independence, with many health care workers fleeing the country or having their training halted by ongoing violence. As a result, there is a severe shortage of trained healthcare professionals, including midwives, which means South Sudan has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. A mother in South Sudan is eighty-seven times more likely to die in childbirth than a mother in the UK, and her baby twenty-four times less likely to reach the age of five.

Brenda is one of the dedicated, dynamic and passionate midwives we met last year when we worked with the South Sudan Ministry of Health to provide neonatal, obstetric & gender-based violence training. Brenda is continuing to deliver babies and care for mothers, with the added challenges posed by COVID-19. We wanted to bring you her inspiring words and celebrate the incredible work of her and her colleagues.

Training of healthcare workers can only happen with funding. We’re urgently looking for your help, so we can continue to support the work of incredible healthcare workers such as Brenda in areas overcoming the impact of disasters, disease outbreaks or war.

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