“I delivered my first four children at home without proper medical care. It was a painful and terrifying experience.”
25-year-old Aheu, recalls her experience of childbirth in rural South Sudan. Unfortunately, experiences like this are all too common for women in rural areas of South Sudan, where modern health care facilities are lacking.
Living in Abyei, Aheu, now a mother of six, has had a tough life. She is the ninth wife of her husband. Sadly, he died in April 2020 due to an infection, leaving her with no income and many mouths to feed. His death could have been prevented according to Aheu.
“I think his life would have been saved if we had the resources to give him better medical services,” Aheu says.
“He used to provide for me and the children. Now I have to sell tea and ground nuts paste to earn enough money to take care of the children.”
Improving health care facilities
Thanks to funding from EU Humanitarian Aid, GOAL has been working with Save the Children International to implement a new life-saving health and nutrition program. Aheu is now receiving treatment and medical support at the Awalnhom mobile health clinic, one of the five health facilities supported by GOAL.
Before the establishment of the mobile clinic in Awalnhom, the nearest health care facility was over three hours away from Aheu’s village.
“It was not only a long journey to the health facility, but also too expensive on public transport. It was even worse in the rainy season when many of the roads would become impassible,” Aheu recalls.
GOAL’s mobile clinics include maternity and antenatal care. Aheu recently gave birth to two more children, delivered safely in the care of the GOAL-run clinics.
“I was transported to the clinic by a GOAL ambulance and the experience was so much easier and safer than when I had given birth at home. Now I am encouraging the women in my community to use this clinic as they make health care easier and safer. They also reduce the challenges of caring for the sick as we don’t have to travel long distances with sick and vulnerable children,” Aheu says.
You can support GOAL’s work with mothers like Aheu with a donation today.