6 February 2013

South Africa: New Maternity Ward Opens in Bor

Bor — South Sudan, which has the worst maternal mortality rate in the world, opened a new a new maternity ward in Bor, the capital of the young nation's largest state on Wednesday.

The minister of health, Michael Milly Hussein, officially opened the new facility, promising that 12 new health facilities would be built in Jonglei state as part of a plan to build 100 new health centres across South Sudan, but he did not give locations or a timeframe.

Also attending the event were Jonglei state's governor, Kuol Manyang, who recently returned to Bor from Juba, doctors working for the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Abdi A Mohamed, Canadian International Agency representatives, and senior officials from the South Sudanese government.

The maternity ward facility was constructed using join funds from WHO and the International Organisation Agency.

"The shortage of health facilities is [a] general issue, but however, I do agree that Jonglei state is one of the states that suffered for the number of reasons," the minister said.

Hussein said his ministry is particularly concerned with the health situation in Jonglei, which has been effected by inter-ethnic conflict and a rebellion in Pibor county in recent years.

"We have awarded Jonglei with 12 health centres to be contracted and I was talking to the state authorities so that they can give us the names of the counties, payams and bomas (districts) in which these health facilities can be constructed so that we enter them in to [the] final document of the contractors," he said.

"The process of entering names into the system will help and strengthen the primary health care system and the reference system."

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