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Street children cry out for help

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The 12 April 2011 was the international day of the street child but, in much of South Sudan, soon to be the world’s newest state, it has passed without notice or acknowledgement, save for a local charity in Yei which organized an event to highlight the social and economic magnitude of the problem.

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Children continue dying due to lack of medical facilities in Yei PDF Print

By Poverty Alfred Taban

Alarmed by the high infant mortality rate, women in Yei River County are calling on the government to build more hospitals in the region. They are also asking that the government improves the facilities at the Yei Civic Hospital which is overwhelmed by the number of patients.

The situation, they observe, has seen a rise in the number of expectant women resorting to Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) during deliveries. They now claim many mothers have lost their babies, either through miscarriages or soon after giving birth due to lack of medical attention. Speaking to the People’s Voice in Yei River County, the women said expectant mothers died of complications that would be addressed if the government builds more health centres.

Betty Poni, 30, who has delivered five of her six children at home, lost three due to lack of medical intervention because she lives more than 10 km from the nearest hospital. Betty says she gave birth to her six children under the care of the TBA’s who lacked essential maternal health care expertise.

“My three children would probably be alive today if I had access to a hospital. Many women lose their children because there are no ante-natal clinics,” she said. She added that besides building more hospitals, the government should also educate women about the importance of attending medical clinics. “Women are ignorant of what they should do while pregnant. They also realized their lives are in danger when it is too late,” she said.