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Mingkaman residents hail establishment of reproductive health clinic

By: Sheila Ponnie

The residents of Mingkaman have hailed the establishment of the reproductive health Clinic in the area.

The health unit was established by the United Nations Population Fund with funding from the Government of Japan.

“This health facility has really changed our lives in Mingkaman. Initially we used to fear to come to this clinic due to ignorance,” Regain Martin, a 35-year-old mother said.

“We did not know where to go before because the women here in Mingkaman used to deliver at home which was unsafe and some women died during delivery. This clinic has really changed our lives and in case it is taken away we will not feel safe,” she added.

Another woman, Mary Nyanwut 32, said she has four children that were all delivered at the clinic.

“I gave birth to my first child at home and I lost a lot of blood due to lack of professional midwife. I thought I was going to die but I thank God I didn’t,” she recalled.

“The doctors and midwives here also teach us about family planning.  I have learned a lot of things from this health Unit we are trained on how women are supposed to take care of themselves and child spacing,” Mary said.

Diig Awan, a 24-year-old mother said it was her first time to give birth at the reproductive clinic.

She said many of her friends who used to give birth at home before the construction of the health Unit, loss a lot of blood during delivery.

“Treatment here is for free and the hospital works day and night, this is something that very few people can offer, I am happy with this organization,” Awan said.

She said she has been going to the clinic for maternal care right from the time she got pregnant until delivery.

 “We have learned about family planning because in our culture people believe that it is only God who stops reproduction which is very wrong concept,” Awan said.

“I have learned about child spacing and I am ready to start spacing my children,” she explained.

Since the outbreak of conflict that has dragged for nearly six years, Gender Based Violence has become one of the most critical threats to the protection and wellbeing of women and children in the country.

The Doctors and midwives working in Mingkaman Reproductive health clinic have taken an initiative to raise awareness about GBV in the community and within the facility.

Abraham Madol, a case manager working with the Interchurch Medical Assistance (IMA) at the clinic said the facility offers family planning sessions to the mothers.

“The reproductive health care also deals with services such as maternal care, family planning, newborn care, HIV testing, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and facility based deliveries,” he said.

UNFPA has been providing reproductive health services to the crisis-affected population in the country.

Mary Apul Kuany Deng, a midwife said with the support of the Japanese government, and UNFPA, Mingkaman has reported Zero maternal death, a fate that has not yet been achieved in the country.

Deng advised women and men to always get regular Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) test saying that many people often avoid going to the doctors for STIs routine test.

Maternal health is a key concern in South Sudan which has one of the world’s highest maternal deaths and the disruption of health service due to the civil war that has put the lives of women and children at risk.

However, access to reproductive health services remains a big challenge in remote areas in South Sudan. Apul said the facility receives more than 300 women for maternal care every day during working days.

“We have a laboratory and technician, but we don’t have laboratory testing equipment such as microscope we don’t carry out blood transfusion because we don’t have the equipment and we don’t have a theater and an expert who can carry out Sicilian,” she said.

South Sudan remains in grip of humanitarian crisis despite the singing of the Revitalized peace agreement in 2018, the reproductive health indicators in South Sudan are among the worst in the world.

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