Volunteer Dr. Sclafani: “Respectful and Loving Care For Our Neighbors in South Sudan”
There are currently 82 million forcibly displaced people around the world, the highest number on record. South Sudan is one of the countries that has been the most severely affected, and women and children comprise most of the refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). During a recent visit to South Sudan as a CMMB medical volunteer, I witnessed the destructive effects of internal displacement resulting from civil war, tribal conflict, food scarcity, and devastating floods.
CMMB has been assisting the people of South Sudan for over ten years, and the health and welfare of women and children in South Sudan has always been a top priority. However, the need for additional supplies, medications and trained health care personnel requires a greater response than ever before.
The lack of birth facilities in the country has a significant impact on maternal and newborn survival, particularly in the remote rural areas of the country. CMMB is responding to this dire situation by establishing a comprehensive plan to improve the quality of care at 22 rural hospitals and clinics in South Sudan.
With your help, we can provide the necessary improvements to these facilities and provide them with the essential medications and supplies necessary for normal maternal and newborn care. We have also planned a comprehensive educational program for doctors and midwives to improve the quality and availability of maternal and newborn health services. Training programs in obstetrical ultrasound and the care of premature infants can impact the lives of thousands of women and children.
As we prepare for the upcoming holidays, we are reminded of the many blessings we have received throughout this year. In the United States and other developed countries, mothers experience safe births and newborns are welcomed into the world in safe facilities with respectful care by well-trained medical and nursing staff. Please consider supporting our efforts so we can provide the same respectful and loving care to our neighbors in South Sudan.
Joseph Sclafani, MD
Dr. Joe Sclafani is an OB/GYN from Brooklyn New York and one of our experts in the field. After practicing in the United States for over three decades, he spent four years in Malawi as the Director of Global Women’s Health for Baylor College of Medicine. It was through this experience that Dr. Sclafani found his passion for service.
Today, Dr. Sclafani is retired and dedicates his time to helping those in need. Since 2017, he has put his clinical experience and passion for serving to use by speaking to incoming volunteers, leading virtual training sessions, and committing time to serve as a volunteer himself. Dr. Sclafani recently returned from South Sudan where we worked with CMMB staff to improve care for mothers and children.