Community campaigning for maternal health in South Sudan

A UK Parliamentary event is to take place on the role of civil society in South Sudan.

A mother and child in South Sudan © International HIV/AIDS AllianceOn 7 September, Florence Bayoa, Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in South Sudan will join Dr. Esterina, Chairperson of the National Aids Commission in a UK Parliamentary event titled “Building a New Nation: the role of civil society in the Republic of South Sudan”.

The event is part of the ‘What’s Preventing Prevention?’ campaign and will be followed by meetings with decision makers in the UK and Brussels.

Florence will describe the experience of the Alliance in South Sudan in partnering with the government to delivering HIV programmes and services. But she will also talk about the role of the Alliance in mobilising communities to campaign for their rights and their place in the delivery of quality maternal health in the new Republic.

The South Sudan Campaign for Maternal Health

South Sudan has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world, with one in every 50 live births resulting in the mother’s death. HIV is a major contributing factor to maternal mortality in countries with high HIV prevalence, such as South Sudan, as our latest campaign briefing explains.

Earlier in 2011, the Alliance South Sudan created the South Sudan National Partnership Platform (NPP). Made up of 28 organisations (over 20 of which are community based organisations), the NPP is the largest advocacy coalition of civil society organisations in the Republic of South Sudan. The platform is developing a campaign for maternal health at national and community levels and trying to influence the next national HIV strategy.

Buay Yhat Yiol, NPP Chairperson commented that “In less than four months since it was created, the South Sudan NPP drafted most of the declaration that the government of the Republic of South Sudan made at the New York High Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS in June 2011. We will campaign for the government of the Republic to fulfil its commitments in this area. NPP campaigning has also led for example to a commitment of the state government of Upper Nile to dedicate 5% of its budget to maternal health and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission.”

The campaign calls for government and donors to provide integrated services for HIV and maternal, newborn and child health and to support community-based responses to maternal health.

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