Mother-child health in Lacor-South Sudan (IMCHA)
Implementing comprehensive, community-focused primary health care is a major challenge in post-conflict regions such as South Sudan and neighbouring Northern Uganda. South Sudan is recovering from two decades of civil war that have destroyed education and health infrastructure. Torit Hospital, one of the major hospitals in the region, is poorly staffed and lacks specialists and basic equipment. The situation is similar in Northern Uganda. In the District of Gulu, the burden of disease has largely been managed through St. Mary's Hospital Lacor. This region has not been able to achieve the progress in maternal and child health that has been reached in the central part of Uganda.
This project assesses the implementation and scale of community-focused reproductive and child health interventions in post-conflict settings. It focuses on establishing evidence to promote sustainability and resilience, with the goal of ensuring access to essential health services by vulnerable populations. The researchers will explore strategies for improved maternal care and child nutrition services, cervical cancer screening, and support for women's empowerment through outreach efforts from the two hospitals.
Research findings will be validated through ministries of health at the local, district, and national levels to optimize engagement and to encourage adoption of the project's recommendations to strengthen systems. The results of the study will directly inform the ministries of health in South Sudan and in Uganda on related interventions, including a scalable model for improved community-based services. This will address barriers to interventions, reduce maternal and child mortality, and extend the reach of health services to communities that have faced shocks and stressors.
This is part of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) initiative, a seven year, $CA36 million multi-donor partnership funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Canada's International Development Research Centre.