Sexual and Reproductive Health in Emergencies Response: CARE South Sudan

Greetings from Juba. I am here for one month to work with CARE’s South Sudan country office and Crisis Response Team to identify and address sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs in South Sudan. For the last half of December 2013 and most of January 2014 the country experienced intense fighting due to a political conflict which has forced close to 870,000 (OCHA) South Sudanese citizens to flee their homes. 

Along with other life-saving interventions, CARE in South Sudan is focusing on resuming SRH services where they have stopped due to the fighting and extending SRH services to those who have fled the conflict.

In Nimule, 145 km south of Juba on the Ugandan border, 35,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have arrived in the past 6 weeks. The CARE team based here is also displaced, as they had to flee the fighting from CARE offices in Jonglei State and are unable to return to that area at this time.

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Meet Agnes, in the green dress, and Alice. They are trained midwives working for CARE as maternal and child healthcare (MCH) officers and moving tirelessly through the area identifying traditional birth assistants in the displaced community to inform them of SRH and MCH services available to them at the county hospital and the nearby health center. They helped establish a referral system for pregnant women and are working with school-age girls to inform them about reproductive and menstrual needs. Here are Deng, on the far right, and Ayuel in the blue shirt. They are CARE GBV protection officers are working closely with a local NGO called Steward running a Gender Based Violence awareness campaign for both the IDPs and host communities. They are also developing a radio program to promote the individual rights of women and girls and are engaging with local authorities to appropriately respond to identified cases of sexual violence through the judicial system.

This team is led by the unstoppable Alex Mooga, CARE’s Project Manager in Nimule. He oversees the coordination of all of the responses (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, GBV, SRH) and is also responsible for the project reporting, budget monitoring, and many other administrative and operational duties on the ground. He is a strong CARE representative to have on the ground.

Together they are responding to the enormous need of IDP women and girls: protection from gender-based violence and increased awareness of SRH services available to them. 

Written by Carolyn Baer, CARE Sexual Reproductive Health Advisor for Emergencies

Keep learning: 

Learn more about crisis in South Sudan > 
·         Learn more about CARE’s work with women & children in emergencies >