• Port Sudan

  • Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at 7:39 PM
    Last Update : Thursday, March 14, 2024 at 8:13 AM

UN Provides Free Healthcare to Reduce Maternal Mortality in Sudan

(AWP) - Sujoud Awad is one of the fortunate Sudanese mums who has been receiving free medical treatment from humanitarian organisations during and after her first pregnancy in Port Sudan, the capital of the Red Sea State.

The aid services offered include financial support and regular pre-natal check-ups for expectant mothers throughout their pregnancies.

She said, “I applied for support for pregnant women and benefited from it for about two years. I learned about it here at the centre where my pregnancy was being monitored. After giving birth, I registered and they called me and informed me that my name was on the list of those eligible and I began to receive it.”

Thousands of pregnant women are among the people crowded in Port Sudan, who fled the capital Khartoum and al-Jazirah State due to the civil war that broke out between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese army in April 2023.

The need to support them increased in light of reports of the birth of about 30,000 children in February 2024, prompting the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to provide over a million units of the drug “Oxytocin” and basic medications to combat post-partum hemorrhage.

UNFPA said that it has already begun distributing these drugs throughout Sudan, with the exception of the states of Darfur and South Kordofan. Discussions with partners are ongoing to explore appropriate options for reaching these two areas, which are experiencing security tensions in the context of the conflict.

Taiba Mahmoud, a doctor at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital in Port Sudan, explained the importance of Oxytocin for stopping bleeding and reducing childbirth-related deaths.

She said, “This drug is crucial to us here in the hospital and we cannot do without it. It has many uses. Primarily we need it in natural births to stop bleeding before and after birth. In natural birth we speed up the birthing process with it, and in caesarean sections we also need it to stop bleeding and help with uterine contractions.”

Huwaida Mohammed, Head of the Statistics Department at the Reproductive Health Clinic affiliated with the Family Planning Association in Port Sudan, confirmed that hundreds of pregnant women receive various medical services every month.

She said, “We received 1365 patients, oversaw 321 caesarean sections, and more than 400 natural births. These are the latest statistics for births last January. There are also services for gynecological diseases included in what we can provide.”

For years, Sudan has been recording high rates of maternal mortality due to inadequate or lack of health care in areas far from cities. Contributing factors include child marriage, female genital mutilation, and any serious complications that may arise during pregnancy and childbirth.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed in a report last February that 270 women die out of every 100,000 during childbirth.

The preliminary committee of the Sudanese Doctors’ Syndicate warned that more than 160,000 pregnant women face hunger, thirst, and limited health care following their displacement from al-Jazira State to the states of Sennar and Gedaref. It confirmed that they face serious risks during displacement, inevitably affecting the health of both the mother and the fetus.