Project Updates from South Sudan

Last month Tamara, our Program Officer and Willem our Program Manager, from HealthNet TPO Headquarters in Amsterdam met up with our team in South Sudan with exciting project updates and insights. 

In this post we would like to highlight some of our main projects and activities in the country. 

Project HPF3: Provision of Essential Health Care Services 

South Sudan remains a fragile and volatile state, where ongoing violence and instability has led to hugely disrupted provision of health services. The country continues to experience high rates of maternal and infant mortality and malnutrition.  

Under the third phase of the Health Pooled Fund (HPF), HealthNet TPO continues to support government health services in order to facilitate primary and hospital health care in regions including Terekeka, Raja, Aweil North, Aweil West, Aweil South and Aweil Center.  

Through this support, health care systems have been strengthened and the capacity of government health workers has been built. This has enabled health systems to respond effectively to the needs of the communities and individuals.  

The outcomes of strengthening these health systems has facilitated the improvement of services including:  

  • Local health facilities now have the capacity to address primary and secondary health care needs, hospital health services and routine immunizations against common communicable diseases. This means more people have access to these vital services and are vaccinated against preventable diseases.  
  • The provision of medical supplies and equipment has improved through the strengthening of supply chain management. 
  • Government health workers are conducting community awareness sessions, educating local communities on basic health concerns and good health practices.  
  • Vital antenatal and postnatal services have been created addressing needs for women and children.  
  • Other, often marginalized needs are also being addressed including psychological first aid, WASH and sexual and reproductive health rights. 

Project NAPIII: The Women and Girls for Change 

The Women and Girls for Change Project is part of the National Agenda Plan (NAP) III which collaborates with 3 other Dutch organisations: Plan Nederland, PAX and STAD.  So far, the project has trained 41 Psychosocial Focal Points who provide mental health and psychosocial care in Nimule, Torit and Ganyiel regions.  

Women and girls are supported to address their own daily challenges related to psychosocial distress, domestic violence, nutritional status and lack of income.  

The project has allowed women and girls to become more resilient and better protected against gender-based violence and enabled an environment for the promotion of gender equality.  

This means that women can be recognized for their meaningful contributions to local conflict prevention and resolution for peacebuilding efforts, relief, recovery and security in a still very fragile and insecure state.  

This November, HealthNet TPO have pledged to continue the NAP project for one more year. In the year to come, we aim to strengthen our position with Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in South Sudan and seek to advocate for community-based care, trauma healing and the integration of MHPSS in health service delivery. 

Distribution of Nets for the Prevention of Malaria 

Since 2019 as a sub-contractor to PSI (Population Service International) and the support of the Global Fund fighting Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, HealthNet TPO has been distributing bed nets in Western Equatoria State for the prevention of Malaria and other mosquito-borne infections. Our staff so far have distributed 511.624 bed nets – that’s around 950.000 men, women and children who we have reached in preventing Malaria.  

Here is what Tamara and Willem had to say about the trip to Sudan and our current projects in country:  

Tamara:  

“IN A COUNTRY LIKE SOUTH SUDAN THAT IS RAVAGED BY WAR AND CONFLICT AND WHERE PEOPLE CONTINUE TO HEAL FROM THE SCARS OF TRAUMA, WE ARE HAPPY TO HAVE A STRONG AND DEDICATED TEAM AIMING TO STRENGTHEN HEALTH SYSTEMS AND REINFORCE THE CAPACITY OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO MAINTAIN THEIR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING. 

CYCLES OF VIOLENCE CONTINUE, AND IT WILL BE A WHILE BEFORE THE HEALTH AND SOCIAL FABRIC OF THE COMMUNITY ARE RESTORED. HEALING REQUIRES THE EFFORTS OF THE WHOLE COMMUNITY AND WE ARE PROUD TO BUILD ON THE POWER OF THESE COMMUNITIES TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE PEACE.” 

WILLEM: 

“IT WAS GREAT TO VISIT OUR TEAM IN SOUTH SUDAN AND FEEL THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE. THEIR FOCUS ON IMPROVING THEIR WORK WILL SUPPORT THE SUFFERING COMMUNITIES IN THE COUNTRY. I FEEL PROUD TO WORK WITH THEM. “