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Groundbreaking Nursing and Midwifery Training Institution at Risk

About the Institution

Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery (JCONAM), South Sudan’s first accredited college of its kind, was initiated and co-founded in 2010 by Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) and established in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other non-governmental organizations. With a maternal mortality rate of 789 deaths per 100,000 live births1, an under-five infant mortality rate of 96.4 per 1,000,2and only one health professional per 65,574 people, South Sudan faces a health care crisis, and is working to grow its pool of trained healthcare professionals in order to improve these rates.

JCONAM aims to reduce the high maternal and infant mortality rates in South Sudan by implementing sustainable, replicable education solutions.

In addition to initiating and providing ongoing support for JCONAM, Real Medicine Foundation implements other initiatives in order to further reduce the mortality rate in South Sudan, including implementing a malnutrition treatment and prevention program in collaboration with UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, and other partners.

With 196 graduates to date and 138 students currently enrolled in the 3-year program, JCONAM has been boosting South Sudan’s healthcare human resources since its inception. The college is a model health education institute, with cutting-edge facilities, nationally recognized curricula, 18 highly qualified instructors and tutors, and an ongoing supply of essential medical and training equipment. The training also involves clinical practice in Juba Teaching Hospital and outlying clinics, which directly benefits the population of Juba, increasing their access to skilled health care providers.

As part of their education, students attend workshops on Respectful Maternity/Health Care (RHC) and psycho-trauma support, which have had a significant impact in the promotion of understanding and respect towards women in labor and patients suffering from psychological trauma. Students are accepted from all ten of South Sudan’s former states, and as graduates return home, they bring not only knowledge and skill, but respectful care and compassion to strengthen their local health facilities. Materials for these courses have been developed by Real Medicine Foundation, and RMF’s values of respect and dignity have played a central part in the development of these resources, which reinforce lessons taught in the program’s ethics, code of conduct, and professionalism classes.

Operations at Risk

Due to ongoing conflict in South Sudan, the program is in danger of losing support from multiple donors, and without this support, could be forced to cease operations in the very near future due to lack of funding. As a result, only 10 students were able to join the program in 2018, an 85.7% decrease in enrollment since 2017. Although the college has taken steps to adjust to the financial challenges, such as working to develop specialized short-term postgraduate courses and planning to collect fees from students who are able to pay, JCONAM is in need of additional funding, partnerships, and advocacy in order to achieve full sustainability and long-term solutions, working with the Ministry of Health to address South Sudan’s healthcare and mortality crises.

To learn more, and to support this groundbreaking nursing and midwifery institution, please visit realmedicinefoundation.org or email info@realmedicinefoundation.org.

  1. Maternal mortality ratio, World Bank, 2015
  2. Child mortality data, UNICEF, 2018