SSHCO Vision and Goals
The Southern Sudan Healthcare Organization aims to provide healthcare and a sense of hope for the people of Southern Sudan.
-SSHCO’s immediate project was to build a clinic at Maar. (completed in October of 2011)
-Develop a program involving the rotation of doctors visiting the clinic to offer medical treatment as well as educational information concerning health needs.
-Provide medications and equipment to keep the clinic running efficiently.
-Create an opportunity for medical internships, open to students from the U.S. and other countries.
-Create a conducive and realistic environment for missionary and volunteer work at the clinic.
Africa Today Associates’ data
In 2006, a team of graduate students from the medical program at the University of Denver visited Maar and Paliau. The team formed Africa Today Associates (ATA).
-The dispensaries, if any, contained virtually no medicines.
-The medicines available were intended for diseases other than those prevalent in the villages.
-The majority of medicines were either expired or were on the verge of expiration.
-An absence of a laboratory facility.
According to the ATA, “health workers in the area lack the capacity to effectively diagnose diseases and consequently fail to administer the ‘right’ medicine” (Agyeman-Duah, p 6). This is because these health workers have little to no health equipment or qualifications.
There are only a couple of health options people in Maar can choose from when they are sick. One is herbal medicines which become placebos. No one is sure about the effectiveness of herbal medicine, but the sick feel if they are taking something; they have some hope of getting better. The other option is prayer. God answers prayer – no doubt. Yet, God has given us the intelligence and skills to provide simple healthcare to people who need it.
Main Health Concern in Maar
Pre and postnatal healthcare is a major problem in Maar and in Southern Sudan as a whole. This can be explained by high levels malnourishment and mortality rates in the country. According to the World Health Organization (WHO)
-13.5 percent of South Sudanese children die before they’re five years old and only 2.7 percent of children are fully immunized (Wheeler par. 2).
-“South Sudan has the world’s worst maternal mortality rate at 2,054 per 100,000 live births. Only 13.9 percent of deliveries are witnessed by labor and delivery health workers” (Wheeler par 4).
In the case of Maar, children scarcely receive immunization or prenatal care because they are born in one of the most remote and isolated parts of Sudan.
When the ATA visited Maar in October/ November, 2006, there was an outbreak of measles in the area of Paliau and Maar. “The Paliau health facility was endowed with only 200 doses of measles vaccinations and this was to be split between Maar and Paliau, a combined population of more than 10,000 people” (Agyeman-Duah, p 22). As a result, not all the children received vaccination. Consequently, 50% of the cases that were recorded in Paliau ended in mortality according to the ATA report (Agyeman-Duah).
The lack of a maternity health center is also a problem in the community. As a result, women deliver in their houses with no little or no medical attention available. There are traditional midwives or Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) who assume the role of a delivery health worker in cases of easy and simple delivery. Unfortunately, the traditional midwives do not have the training or resources to handle complicated deliveries. Many deliveries are fatal.
Funds and resources
Raise enough funds to sustain the clinic with medical eguipment, pharmaceuticals, and a sufficient labor force. It cost anywhere between $60,000 to $100,000 a year to sustain the clinic.
The thought of lives being saved, and the streets of Maar and neighboring areas being filled with healthy and happy children running around is what the SSHCO dreams of.
Thank you for doing your part in letting this dream come true!