Nzara is a small town in South Sudan, located about 30 minutes northwest of Yambio. A small dirt road connects Yambio and Nzara. This area in between the two tows is lush and green, with small scale teak and pineapple farms. Homes here are made of mud and thatch. Most schools are visible from the road and often consist only of benches under mango trees. There are no school supplies, water or sanitation facilities, and classes aren’t held when it rains or when families need to work in the fields. Although there are some water sources in the area, most are contaminated with waste and parasites, frequently causing water-borne diseases. Local families must travel very far to reach these water points, which often break down due to overuse. To increase access to safe water, CMMB has drilled numerous boreholes and water pumps and created WASH committees that are trained to maintain the pumps.
At CMMB, we know that healthy mothers and children can transform poor communities. So our Children and Mothers’ Partnerships program—CHAMPS—is working in Nzara to make the most vulnerable families healthy. The malaria rates in this area are among the highest in the world, and are a leading cause of illness and death among the local Zande population. The community also suffers from very high rates of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. In addition to supporting interventions that support clean water, child protection, and the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, CMMB actively supports the Nzara Mission Hospital. The hospital has very active maternity and children’s wards as well as units that treat tuberculosis and leprosy. The Nzara Mission Hospital is managed by the Comboni Missionary Sisters, a religious order from Italy.
CHAMPS in Nzara: A Closer Look at 2016
Maternal and Child Health
PROBLEM: Very high maternal mortality and morbidity rates
SOLUTION: CMMB’s Safe Motherhood program saves lives. In partnership with the Nzara County Health Department, we renovated local healthcare facilities and added staff to establish comprehensive emergency obstetric care 24/7. Within just the first few months after new services became available, pregnant women safely delivered 200 healthy babies.
Supporting Community Engagement
PROBLEM: Traditional birth attendants (TBAs) lack training as well as integration with health facilities
SOLUTION: CHAMPS works to integrate the role TBAs play and supports them with skills so at-risk women can be referred to health facilities. TBAs receive bicycles to visit women in remote locations and training to provide basic antenatal and postnatal care. This helps TBAs detect complications early and refer mothers to facilities for delivery.
Strengthening Local Healthcare
PROBLEM: Lack of critical infrastructure for reliable power and water
SOLUTION: CMMB partnered with the Joseph Rauenhorst Family Foundation and the Sudan Relief Fund to bring a 100kWh supply of clean, solar energy to the Nzara Hospital compound. The result is running water 24/7. With health service personnel now able to thoroughly wash hands before and after procedures, hospital infection will be minimized.
Supporting a holistic, sustainable approach to healthcare for women and children
In 2015, 79,995 people were supported by Nzara Hospital and its network facilities.
Peter is a nurse in training at Nzara Mission Hospital. He will always remember the positive impact that CMMB medical volunteer, Dr. Rachael Consoli had on the hospital and staff. Peter says, “I am inspired by Dr. Consoli's work. She was especially helpful to pregnant women. She was very open with patients, counseling them and the staff." Peter explained that whenever there was an illness that the hospital staff was unfamiliar with, Dr. Consoli would explain how to treat it. Peter says, “She inspired a lot of people here and we learned a lot from her. She is my role model. I want to study medicine and become a nurse because I want to become like Dr. Consoli.”Learn More
In 2015, 7,389 mothers and children were supported with critical health and social services.
Nora is a CMMB PMTCT counselor in Nzara. She works with pregnant mothers and their partners. She says, “It’s good to counsel them together as a couple.” Follow-up treatment is critical to ensure the health of their children. Nora explains, “They are all my people. I don’t leave anyone behind. I escort them hand-to-hand through counseling, and antiretroviral treatment.” Nora also counsels couples about prenatal care, delivering in a health center, and postnatal care and treatment to ensure that their children stay healthy and HIV-free. She says, "CMMB is helping us look after our own people.”Learn More
In 2016, 7,637 people will be supported with access to safe water.
Two years ago, these four children fled with their families from their homes due to flooding and violent conflict in their villages. They are living in a camp outside of Nzara with other internally displaced people. The families struggle with food scarcity, illness, and adequate housing. Water is a critical issue. The camp is near a shallow well, but the water is contaminated. In the dry season, it dries up and there is no water at all. Bore hole rehabilitation, including water pump repair, wells, and water tower construction, will assist families like this and thousands of others living in Nzara.Learn More
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