Supporting health education to prevent illness and support local health workers efforts
Describe the need affecting community
Conflict with Sudan ended in 2005, and South Sudan became an independent country in 2011. Recurrent violence in December 2013 has delayed progress within this new country. Health statistics are among the worst in the world, due to extreme poverty, poor government capacity, weak infrastructure including communication and transportation, poor hygiene, illiteracy, poor nutrition, low agricultural production, and inadequate medicines, supplies, and trained staff in government health facilities, particularly in the rural areas. Pregnant women and children under 5 years are at the greatest risk for illness and death, especially from malaria, as well as pneumonia, and diarrhea. Maternal mortality is alarmingly high in pregnancy or childbirth due to the lack of adequate trained birth attendants, isolated villages and difficult transportation. High adult illiteracy rates have resulted in a serious lack of understanding about common health problems and methods of disease prevention and treatment. Trauma as a consequence of years of war and tribal violence affects all aspects of healthy family life.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
The importance of repetition in effecting healthy behavior change is recognized in this country with on-going challenges. Expansion of health education for all age groups is requested and will be implemented as funding and resources are available. Collaborating with the County Health Departments and other faith-based health facilities is building the capacity of South Sudanese health workers to provide sustainable, improved health care with this needy setting.
Describe the primary goal of the project
GOAL: Improve health of individuals, families, and communities within South Sudan, working through UMC church communities and government health facilities with health education and prevention.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
With the help of this Advance Special the capacity of community and church leaders to work alongside the government health facility workers will be raised through education, for a better understanding of healthy behaviors which will lead to better health for all persons.