Online Program

Untraditionally traditional: Rethinking maternal health advocacy in south Sudan

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Hiba Salih, MBchB, MPH, LTH specialist, Global Health through Education, Training, and Service, Attleboro, MA
What is the role of local knowledge in creating sustainable health systems and using aid effectively? This presentation will detail a project in post-conflict South Sudan, where the Maternal Mortality Ratio (estimated at 2054/100,000 live births) was the worst in the world in 2011. The project focused on community capacity building to identify maternal health concerns and to design and deliver context-specific interventions. Utilizing innovative participatory research and local resources to increase sustainability, this project connected seven skilled health professionals with fifteen local women from fifteen different villages in South Sudan. Photos and storytelling served as novel means to collect data in a low-literacy community and context-sensitive workshops to prioritize maternal health concerns utilized indigenous knowledge for crafting more effective health maternal messages. This project improved community awareness of maternal health issues and empowered women; the original fifteen women managed to train a further fifty-five local men and women, generating a measurable, multiply effect. We will subsequently discuss what we can extrapolate from such an example into the larger aid context, arguing that community-based initiatives utilizing local resources, even if funded by larger aid organizations, can have a lasting, sustainable impact.

Learning Areas:

Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe an innovative approach to health interventions that increases community involvement and sustainability. Demonstrate the value of this approach in challenging the greater global aid framework.

Keyword(s): International Health, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a GP and public health specialist with a MPH from the University of Medical Sciences and Technology "UMST" and a and MBChB from Juba University in South Sudan. I was a Researcher at the Reproductive & Child Health Research Unit ‘RCRU’ at Graduate College, UMST in Khartoum - Sudan. I am experienced in Participatory Ethnographic Evaluation and Research and Community Readiness Assessment.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.