The health system has been weakened by years of unrest, however. South Sudan has the highest maternal death rate in the world. This is caused by a severe lack of trained midwives, inadequate health facilities and the high rate of teenage pregnancy.
There are very few government funds for health. The few hospitals and clinics that do exist are unevenly distributed – with rural areas more poorly served than urban ones. Most health care facilities were destroyed during the civil war and there are few qualified health workers, leaving 11 million people with little or no medical care.
AMREF’s priority in South Sudan is working with the Ministry of Health to train doctors, clinical officers, midwives, laboratory technicians and pharmacists.