Promotion of maternal and child health in Kulbus locality, West Darfur

In Darfur, serious gender inequalities can be observed. Women are taking the responsibility for the family and children livelihoods. They work in the farms, collect the water, they also do hard work such as building houses, and cut and transport firewood. All these conditions, together with a patriarchal society structure, make women particular vulnerable to injuries and violence such as rape, abortion, short child spacing, maternal health compliances.
Women in West Darfur tend to give birth at home, and for this reason Reproductive Health needs must be provided on a primary health level of care. Although this level of RH service is technically provided free-of-charge by public (governmental) health care facilities, consultations still require out-of-pocket expenditures for drug purchases, diagnostic testing, and investigative procedures. There is also an issues of pregnancies complications due to lack of transportation services and ignorance. Moreover, the locality is facing high health staff turnover, while the inability to find medical doctors willing to reside in rural areas represents a big challenge.
The project, in addition to provide basic health services for all population, will take care of the health of children under five, as well as the rights of women to receive proper health care, education and gender appropriate medical treatment and psychological support in case of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Harmful Traditional Practices (HTP). In order to create community involvement and awareness, the intervention will focus on school teachers, religious, and leaders in the communities.
The project is expected to empower the local community (69,360 direct beneficiaries) through their direct involvement and participation, ensuring sustainability and ownership. This action will aim at increasing awareness and knowledge on gender based violence, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and early marriage at community level and improving capacity of local auhtorities, NGOs and Sudan Ministry of Health to manage and provide services for maternal and child care (MCH).
Access to maternal and child care will be improved as well as primary health services, and children and pregnant/lactating women nutritional status will be enhanced. Moreover, a feasibility study to assess the possibilities to build a stable community-based health financing system in the area of Kulbus will be necessary to guide the efforts towards the enhancement of a sustainable health system in the beneficiaries’ communities.