United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Sudan situation. report. 2020. (accessed 24 May 2021)

United Nations Population Fund. World population dashboard. 2020. (accessed 24 May 2021)

Midwives save lives in Sudan

02 July 2021
Volume 29 · Issue 7


UK-based charity Kids for Kids is committed to upskilling midwives in Darfur, Sudan thus empowering women to provide safer care for mothers and babies in remote areas

Darfur, Sudan is one of the most deprived and impoverished areas in the world. The people here live lives of unimaginable hardship. At the forefront of climate change, flooding and droughts are a regular occurrence and now inflation is over 363% (Trading Economics, 2021), a result of the ongoing economic crisis. Families are struggling to feed their children and healthcare is a luxury not many people can afford, and in remote villages, it is unavailable. Rural hospitals have, at best, basic and little equipment. While living conditions have improved in other areas of the country, Darfur has been left behind.

Sudan has a Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) of 295 deaths per 100 000 pregnancies (United Nations Population Fund, 2020), higher than the global average and staggeringly larger than the seven deaths per 100 000 recorded here in the UK. However, Darfur itself has one of the highest MMR rates in the world recording 727 deaths per 100 000 pregnancies in 2013 (Reliefweb, 2014). With Darfur mainly consisting of small, interspersed villages, the nearest hospital is usually several hours away, and can only be accessed via a donkey and cart, leaving many women at risk of death during childbirth from causes that could be prevented. The reason for this high number of maternal deaths is the lack of trained and skilled midwives in rural areas who are able to detect high-risk pregnancies. The most the majority of villages can hope for is an untrained traditional birth attender as there is no other healthcare available.

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