Building a pediatric ward for a clinic in Yei,
Goal: 59,360 US (Approximately $66,000 Cdn)
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada is helping to build and equip a new, expanded children’s ward for Martha Primary Health Care Centre in Yei (pronounced “Yay”), South Sudan. This new facility will add 18 more pediatric beds, bringing the total to 28, as well as a treatment room, an isolation room, and a nurses’ office and storeroom. The result will be even better care for the little ones.
As its reputation has grown, the existing children’s ward, although built in 2010, has become terribly over-crowded. While the existing ward accommodates up to 11 beds, 20 to 25 very sick little patients are being cared for on any given day – many accommodated on the floor, in the kitchen, on the verandah, or in tents. Despite the difficulties, the lives of many children are saved through the care provided. The reputation of Martha Primary Health Care Centre is such that children are brought from great distances to the facility.
The new, larger children’s ward will provide access to inpatient care to thousands more children in Yei and the surrounding areas – and has the potential to significantly reduce the mortality rate. During the second half of 2013, there were 850 admissions to the pediatric ward and amazingly, there were no deaths – a remarkable statistic in South Sudan.
South Sudan is the world’s newest nation and among the poorest due to decades of war which destroyed millions of lives and virtually all the infrastructure. Geographically, the country is about the size of France, but with only 11 million people – 51 per cent of whom are under the age of 18 years. Since 2011, the population has grown dramatically as refugees have returned following South Sudan’s independence.
Needs are overwhelming. The literacy rate for those 15 and older is only 27 per cent – only 16 per cent for women.
Life expectancy is low. Most deaths are from preventable and treatable illnesses – especially malaria. More than one in ten children die before the age of five, and the maternal mortality rate exceeds one in 50 live births. In 2012, it was estimated that there were about 120 medical doctors and slightly more than 100 registered nurses in the entire country.
Martha Primary Health Care Centre (Martha PHCC), under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Yei (in the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan), provides high quality pediatric care. It serves all those who come without regard to tribe, religion or ability to pay. In 2012, more than 45,000 patients, including pediatric patients, were seen through Martha PHCC – that’s between 3000 and 4000 patients each month.
Martha PHCC opened in 1980 but was closed during the two decades of civil war. Today it includes an in-patient children’s ward, eye clinic with operating room, laboratory, pharmacy, HIV testing and antenatal care. In-patients pay a nightly charge for accommodations, as well as a fee for medications. However, those who cannot afford to pay still receive care.
A typical pediatric patient is under five years old and suffers from malaria or severe dehydration. With the right treatment, the child improves dramatically within 24 hours and can be discharged the following day. Without this care, many would die. Parents who bring their children to the Martha Clinic are taught good health practices to prevent recurrences.
At Martha Clinic, diocesan clergy visit regularly to evangelize, lead daily devotions, and pray for patients and their families.
Martha Clinic places a high emphasis on ongoing health training for staff, and has trained more than 50 health care workers to date. In February 2014, two new student midwives began training. Martha Clinic sees quality training as critical to future health care provision.
[You can watch a great six-minute video on healthcare in Yei]
Our project partners
ARDFC is partnering on this project with the Diocese of Yei in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, and The Brickworks, a UK-based charity.
The Diocese of Yei, led by Bishop Hilary Adeba, is located in the southwest corner of South Sudan, bordering Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is one of 31 dioceses in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan under Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul.
The Brickworks is a small UK-based charity which supports health, education, skills training, water, sanitation, and church projects in South Sudan. [Learn more: www.thebrickworks.org.uk.]
About the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Canada (ARDFC)
ARDFC is a registered Canadian charity, associated with the Anglican Church in North America. It undertakes carefully selected and monitored aid projects in partnership with Anglican dioceses in developing nations. See our website www.ardfc.ca for more information.
How to support the work of ARDFC
Donations to ARDFC can be made:
• Through your parish
• Online using the secure CanadaHelps website. For information see:
• By sending your cheque to: ARDFC · Box 1013 · Burlington, ON · L7R 4L8
A child is treated by clinician James Malish in the children’s ward of Martha Primary Health Care Center in Yei, South Sudan. The child and his mother are on the floor because all of the beds are full.
James Malish said, “As a clinic, we have treated patients from far and wide. Recently, an 18-month-old baby was hospitalized at a hospital in Juba, South Sudan. While there, the child became sicker and was unconscious. Getting worse each day, someone advised the child’s parents to transfer him to Martha Clinic, Yei. The child was brought to us in Yei, 100 miles and a five-hour drive away, on really bad roads and on the back of a motorcycle, while unconscious. Twenty-four hours after arriving in Yei, we correctly diagnosed, treated the child and he began to recover. We are grateful because we continue to save many lives in our community.”
» Fact sheet on South Sudan project
» Bulletin insert s for South Sudan project
» Six minute video on the Martha Primary Heath Care Centre
in the Diocese of Yei
» Website for project partner The Brickworks, a small UK charity
» See photos of this project
» July 2014 letter from the Bishop of Yei thanking ARDFC
& announcing the start of construction
» Final assessment report showing the project's success
» Completed project assessment report: "Exceeded expectations!"
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2016-17 – Providing a van for church plants in Cuba
2015-16 – Combatting poverty and malnutrition in Burundi
2015 – Wau, South Sudan: Providing clean water
2014 – Yei, South Sudan: Building a pediatric ward for a clinic
2013 – Recife, Brazil: Training centre construction project
2012 – Peru: Helping women escape poverty
2012 – Burma: Help impoverished women achieve economic stability
2011 – Congo: Helping war refugees get reestablished
2010 – Kenya: Malaria prevention and health education project