Photography: Save the Children: Maternal and Child Health
The world's youngest country, South Sudan gained independence three years ago. South Sudan has been devastated by decades of war in which 2 million people have died and 4 million have been forced to flee, and continue to face humanitarian crises. Currently, South Sudan is the scene of Africa's longest running civil war.
Save the Children has been working in South Sudan since 2000 (prior to independence), implementing programmes in 9 of the country's 10 states. The new country has among the highest infant-mortality rates and the lowest education indicators in the world.
Most families go without basic health care. There is little access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, fostering the spread of infectious diseases. Save the Children manages 61 primary health care facilities with local partners. The organisation's centres treat children with diarrhea, malaria and respiratory infections – which untreated can be life-threatening. In 2010, more than 111,000 children received health treatment at the facilities.
Maternal health is supported through prenatal care, labor and delivery services and postnatal care services. Save the Children also offers preventive and public health programmes including immunisations, education, hygiene and sanitation.