19 October, 2017, Juba: The Ministry of Health of the Republic of South Sudan with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), held a two-day consultative multi stakeholder meeting from 18-19 October, 2017 in Juba for the development of an integrated Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH & N) strategic plan for South Sudan. The process is led by the Ministry of Health with technical support from the H6 partnerships including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), UN Women and the World Bank.
The consultative meeting built consensus on RMNCAH and N indicators, identified bottlenecks in accessing and utilizing the high impact RMNCAH & Nutrition interventions, and developed strategic goals, objectives and targets for 2018 to 2022. The integrated strategy will provide direction, key actions and specific activities for each RMNCAH and Nutrition programme area. This is in-line with the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’ health and the Sustainable Developmental Goals (2016-2030).
Although South Sudan has several vertical programs and strategic documents on RMNCAH & N programmatic areas, the country has never had an overarching integrated strategy providing a holistic and unified approach to RMNCAH & N. The strategy will prioritize and define evidence based costed interventions for the country for the next five years.
‘Investments in evidence-based interventions throughout the life course, from birth through childhood and adolescence and into adulthood, can be strengthened by an integrated approach’ emphasized Dr Suzie Paul, WHO Team Lead for Family and Reproductive Health for South Sudan CO. In line with the AFRO’s Transformation Agenda, WCO South Sudan reaffirmed commitment to support reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition in South Sudan.
The Director General for Reproductive Health at the Ministry of Health, Dr Alex Dimiti commended WHO and partners for supporting the initiative for integration of RMNCAH and nutrition services and pledged government commitment to lead the process.
The meeting was attended by a wide range of stakeholders including representatives from national and state MOH, Health Science Institute, Juba Teaching hospital, H6 partnership, cluster and Reproductive Health partners.