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S. Sudan Catholic hospital to receive new units

May 2, 2018 (YAMBIO) - The Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) is adding a new surgical unit and a blood bank to a hospital in South Sudan, a country with one of the highest maternal mortality rates.

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Bishop Edward Kussala of Tombura-Yambio lays the ceremonial cornerstone at the new facilities of St. Theresa Hospital in Nzara, South Sudan, April 7, 2018 (Photo: Matthew Jones/CMMB)

“We look to build the capacity of the hospital to make sure they are well equipped and well-staffed and well trained to the meet the needs of pregnant mothers and children coming in for services,” CMMB’s Director of Partnerships, Robert Wuillamey, told CNA.

“One of the initiatives we are undertaking is building and equipping the hospital with an operating theater. Currently, the hospital does not have the capacity to do even simple surgeries in a clean and an efficient way,” he added.

St. Theresa Hospital, which is located in Nzara, fewer than 20 miles northwest of Yambio, is currently managed by the Comboni Missionary Sisters and owned by the Diocese of Tombura-Yambio.

The facility, specializing in maternal health also serves some 300,000 people in southwestern South Sudan as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR).

The hospital will reportedly receive not only a surgical operating theater, but a maternity ward as well. The facility will also implant a blood donation program for patients with malaria and anemia.

Last year, the hospital reportedly received between 21,000 and 28,000 out patients’ attendances and 7,000 admissions, but the number is expected to rise as the new facilities become operational.

At 789 deaths per 100,000 live births, war-torn South Sudan reportedly has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world and yet most of the causes of these maternal deaths are preventable, particularly when women receive recommended antenatal care.

(ST)