GOAL Sudan is continuing to support the training of midwives through the Health Sciences College in El Fasher to save lives and improve the care available to pregnant mothers and babies in communities throughout Sudan. Through education and training, 43 people have qualified as midwives with support from this GOAL initiative.
Students undergo an 18-month full-time midwifery course before being deployed to communities in need of guidance and support throughout pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum. One community benefiting is the Kassab IDP camp in Darfur where GOAL has deployed 14 midwives to date. Before the midwives began working in the camp, there were high numbers of fatalities as a result of bleeding after delivery and a high risk of infant deaths due to inadequately trained personnel. In this area, 6,000 women of childbearing age now have access to community midwife services.
The midwives support the safe delivery of babies within the community and provide necessary aftercare. Before the implementation of the midwife service, birth complications often led to the death of the baby or the mother. Midwives are working hard to change the attitudes around caesarean sections and diminish harmful traditional myths which see mothers abstain from key sources of protein during pregnancy believing this would cause the baby to be mute and not to develop bones. With the increased number of trained midwives in these communities, there has been awareness about the importance of attending antenatal care regularly during pregnancy as well as early referrals of risk cases.
GOAL provides midwife kits to the nurses so they have the necessary equipment required for an assisted delivery. The pregnant mothers also receive clean delivery kits from the midwives at the health facilities which ensures a clean and hygienic environment during delivery. Hanan Abdalla is a new mother who has benefited from the midwife programme. Hanan gave birth 5 months ago at home with assistance from midwife Manahil, a graduate from Health Sciences College in El Fasher.
Hanan said that “Without the assistance of the midwife, my delivery would not have gone as well as it did as I faced some extreme difficulties during my pregnancy. I am so grateful to GOAL for providing skilled birth attendants in our communities to support pregnant mothers and ensure safe deliveries for mothers and babies.” Hanan has been advised to keep attending the post-natal visits in the GOAL supported clinic at Kassab IDP camp to access the required vaccinations for her baby.