Al Jazeera reports on the public health situation in South Sudan, which gained its independence on Saturday, and profiles Juba Teaching Hospital, the new country’s largest medical center. “A lack of proper primary care facilities in South Sudan means the doctors here are often overworked: Many of the doctors at the hospital come to work seven days a week,” Al Jazeera writes. “The health ministry has plans to open a network of primary care centers â€“ roughly one per 15,000 people â€“ but none are fully operational,” according to the news service. About 80 percent of the medical care in South Sudan is provided by international aid organizations, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Carlstrom, 7/10).
Health Workforce & Capacity
Mary Ellen Stanton, a senior maternal health advisor at USAID, and Chris Thomas, global health communications and policy advisor at USAID, outline the agency’s work to promote better health outcomes for women and children in the developing world on GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog.
The Lancet reports on Japan’s “daunting task of rebuilding hundreds of damaged health facilities” four months after an earthquake and tsunami hit the country. “When the tsunami ripped houses from their foundations and sent cars and other debris miles inland, it also caused widespread damage to the health infrastructure in a region already struggling to fund health services for its large elderly population,” the Lancet writes.
Al Jazeera examines how Iraq’s public health system has been affected by the war and the challenges doctors in the country currently face.
IRIN reports on concerns about the low level of training midwives in Senegal undergo, a topic that was discussed at the launch of the U.N. Population Fund’s (UNFPA) State of the World’s Midwives report in Senegal. According to UNFPA, “[p]oorly-regulated, privately-run training schools in Senegal are churning out midwives who do not have a solid grasp of birthing or ante- and post-natal care, causing women and babies to die needlessly,” IRIN writes. There are dozens of midwife training schools in the country, which are supposed to be regulated, but because the government only has two inspectors to monitor the schools, many of them have low standards, said Edwige Adekambi, UNFPA’s joint Senegal director (6/30).
Calestous Juma, an author and professor at Harvard Kennedy School, writes in an East African opinion piece that as South Sudan prepares for independence on July 9, it “is the time” for the country “to chart a new path by defining a new role for its military” by “shift[ing] its military budget to development objectives.”
NPR’s All Things Considered reports on efforts to improve maternal health in Mozambique. The piece, which is part of a summer series, looks at the challenges involved with getting pregnant women to hospitals and shortages of trained health worker (Block, 6/27). A second report on NPR’s Morning Edition examines Mozambique’s doctor shortage. NPR correspondent Melissa Block, who traveled to Mozambique to report on maternal and child health, is interviewed (Montagne, 6/27).
Additional, Better-Trained Midwives Needed To Save Millions Of Women And Newborns Worldwide, Report Says
“According to a United Nations Population Fund study released Monday, more and better trained midwives could help save millions of lives in” 58 countries “identified as ‘suffering from a crisis in human resources for health,'” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports.
BMJ reports on the health affects of civil unrest in South Sudan, which will become the world’s newest country on July 9.
IRIN Examines Factors Influencing Health Worker Migration And How Countries Working Toward Solutions
In this article, “IRIN took a look at some of the push and pull factors behind health worker migration, and what countries are doing to address them.”