South Sudan Health Association (SSUHA), formerly known as Sudan Health Association (SUHA) before the independence of the country, is a National Non-Governmental Organization (NNGO) currently registered with the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) under the new NGOs bill. Previously, it was also registered with the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development. It was founded in 1995 in Nairobi, Kenya with the objective of assisting the Sudanese that were in the refugee camps and others living in parts of that country. But before it could get funds to start assisting the refugees in Kenya, events of the liberation war back in Sudan then developed faster and resulted in the liberation (Around 1997) of some parts of the country by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). As a result, SSUHA had to turn attention to moving into Sudan (Around June 1997) and started assisting the Sudanese communities that were getting back to the liberated areas of Kajo-Keji County in South Sudan. Between then and now, a number of significant development partners and donors, and other stakeholders have supported SSUHA to implement several projects, and these include: 1- OFDA through ARC for Kajo-Keji County. 2- UNICEF for Kajo-Keji and part of Juba Counties. 3- CRS for Kajo-Keji County. 4- Sudan Medical Link through the diocese of Salisbury for Kajo-Keji County. 5- The European Union (EU) through UNDP in an ICCO-led consortium with 4 other NGOs that included AAH-I, ZOA, NSCC, and SCOPE, for western Juba County payams. 6- UNHCR-IGAD for Kajo-Keji County. 7- The European Union (EU) through UNDP in a ZOA-led consortium with IPCS for western Juba County payams. 8- HEKS and its back donors (Swiss Solidarity and the Swiss Development Cooperation) for 4 payams in Lainya and Yei counties. 9- MTDF for Kajo-Keji County. 10- Jhpiego/MCHIP for Lainya County. 11- HPF for Lainya County. HEKS/THD for Yei County. 12- SSJR/TDH for Lainya County, IsraAID with funds from UNICEF for Lainya County. SSUHA’s partners/donors as of July 2022 include HPF, Health Care South Sudan (HCSS), and IsraAID.more about us
GENERAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES: SSUHA’s establishment was against the background of provision of both primary and secondary health care programs. In general, SSUHA supports the provision of Basic Primary Health Care services at static health facilities and also at outreach sites through mobile clinics. SSUHA started the provision of health care services since June 1997 and has been in that field to date. With about 25 years of experience, especially in the provision of Primary Health Care Service, we can confidently say that our partners can rely on our sturdy ability to provide the services needed in that field. Supporting health service provision in Primary Health Care Units (PHCU), Primary Health Care Centers (PHCCs), and in hospitals has given us wealth of knowledge and experience of comprehensive health service delivery. Some areas of emphasis in our health service delivery include the following: Sexual and Reproductive Health: This has been one of the important aspects in our provision of health services to the communities we serve. It is a service that is in the center of determining the average health of women and children, and their ability to enjoy a healthy life. The health of women and children is intertwined, and must be looked at in totality. It is an aspect that takes into account a range of services that include, but not limited to: Ante-natal Care, Post-natal Care, prevention against STIs including HIV/AIDS, treatment of STIs, safe delivery, Family Planning, and more. HIV/AIDS: Besides incorporating HIV/AIDS in its normal health program, SSUHA carried out specific HIV/AIDS activities in projects that were designed to prevent its spread and mitigate the negative impacts on the health and economy of the populations infected by it. Some of the services/activities planned included: Promotion of VCT, provision of access to ARVs, prevention of Perinatal Transmission of HIV, combating co-infections in HIV patients, especially those involving TB, promoting the use of condoms where and when necessary, conducting HIV/AIDS awareness in communities and public institutions that include schools etc., conducting radio talk shows on HIV/AIDS, making use of IEC materials to promote awareness, providing home-based care to infected people, supporting livelihood activities for people living with HIV and AIDs to improve their economic and health statuses. COVID-19: With COVID-19, it has yet been one of the health challenges of great magnitude ever experienced in recent times. It is a challenge that has to be handled beyond the usual and normal parameters of health service delivery. Like any of the pandemics, there was much efforts exerted to contain it with contributions from many sectors and agencies. For their part, SSUHA and its staff were in the center of these efforts and contributions. At health facilities level, some of the intervention measures included: Conducting screening for COVID-19 for patients at HFs, training health workers on how to detect and identify COVID cases, training health workers on rational and correct and appropriate use of PPEs, supplying PPEs for use in HFs, training health workers on ensuring their own safety against the virus, strengthening control measures at the facilities, training and getting health workers to conduct COVAX. At the level of communities, SSUHA works by training and supporting the Boma Health Workers (BHWs) to provide awareness to the community members on COVID-19, and on ways of how they should protect themselves against the virus. Measures include social distancing, using of face masks during funeral and other public gatherings, frequent washing of hands, using alcohol-based sanitisers, avoid spiting in public, avoid coughing and sneezing in a manner that may affect others during gatherings, etc. Nutrition: SSUHA implements nutrition activities within the shadows of its health and food security and livelihood programs. Integrating nutrition into health and food security has been more beneficial for the target populations in SSUHA’s service delivery, where other components of the services complement for the needs of those receiving the services. In our health and nutrition project in Lainya county, both services were integrated: Nutrition activities were integrated into IMNCI, EPI, ANC, intra partum and Post Natal Care clinics; and community screening done by the HHPs. Malnourished children < 5 years and PLWs with both severe and moderate cases were promptly referred for appropriate treatment to OTP/TSFP centres established in three static facilities, and SAM cases with complications were managed in the Stabilization Centre in Lainya hospital. Health workers were trained on CMAM, IYCF, and HHPs trained on community screening of malnourished children to improve the quality of nutrition services. A total of 41 HHPs trained, and 10 mother-to-mother groups were formed and engaged in mobilization, health education and promotion of exclusive breast feeding. In other settings such as those under food security and livelihood where nutrition services are implemented, SSUHA considers the promotion of kitchen gardens as an important component of the program. These often happen in women groups, and also in schools.
SSUHA started providing WASH services in 2006. This was provided within the scope of the provision of services in health, and food security and livelihood to complement for the needs of the beneficiaries. From 2008, however, SSUHA started providing comprehensive WASH services that took into consideration as many components as possible. Focusing on provision of clean and safe water, the following activities were part of the services planned and provided: drilling of boreholes, protection of springs, excavation and protection of shallow wells, provision of borehole spare parts and carrying out rehabilitation of broken-down boreholes, provision of toolkits for the repair of the boreholes, training of hand pump mechanics (HPMs) for the repair work, selection and training of water users’ committees to ensure protection and sustenance of the water sources, and provision of IEC materials including billboards to promote the concept of clean and safe water. SSUHA also provided water through harvesting of rain water into manufactured (Plastic) and constructed tanks, especially in schools, health facilities and other institutions such as churches, etc. SSUHA has a mini laboratory for carrying out water quality testing, and ensure that contaminated water sources are flushed and treated (Chlorinated). It also constructed bio-sand filters, and provided water treatment tablets to help where safe water sources were lacking. Focusing on sanitation and hygiene, the following activities were planned and provided: Construction of VIP latrines in schools, health facilities and other public institutions, construction of household latrines by community members, provision of tools to community members for sinking latrine pits, provision of San-plats for household latrines, provision of hand-washing containers, provision of tools to promote hygiene in schools, training hygiene promoters (HP) to carry out awareness campaigns in the community, and in schools and other public places, provision of IEC materials for use by the HPs in carrying out awareness campaigns, formation and training of hygiene and sanitation committees to manage public latrines, formation of students and teachers clubs to spearhead and promote WASH activities in schools, provision of dignity sanitary kits/materials for school girls, conducting talk-show sessions on the local FM radio stations, and conducting sanitation and hygiene competition activities in the community and giving prizes to winning households to motivate and promote cleanliness. The list could go on for these WASH activities.
This has been one of the important aspects in our provision of health services to the communities we serve. It is a service that is in the center of determining the average health of women and children, and their ability to enjoy a healthy life. The health of women and children is intertwined, and must be looked at in totality. It is an aspect that takes into account a range of services that include, but not limited to: Ante-natal Care, Post-natal Care, prevention against STIs including HIV/AIDS, treatment of STIs, safe delivery, Family Planning, and more.
HIV/AIDS: Besides incorporating HIV/AIDS in its normal health program, SSUHA carried out specific HIV/AIDS activities in projects that were designed to prevent its spread and mitigate the negative impacts on the health and economy of the populations infected by it. Some of the services/activities planned included: Promotion of VCT, provision of access to ARVs, prevention of Perinatal Transmission of HIV, combating co-infections in HIV patients, especially those involving TB, promoting the use of condoms where and when necessary, conducting HIV/AIDS awareness in communities and public institutions that include schools etc., conducting radio talk shows on HIV/AIDS, making use of IEC materials to promote awareness, providing home-based care to infected people, supporting livelihood activities for people living with HIV and AIDs to improve their economic and health statuses.
SSUHA engages in food security and livelihood strategy that is comprehensive and ensures sustainability for the beneficiaries. Prioritized beneficiaries include women, as they usually play the roles of household providers, childcare, domestic agricultural production, and general income generation for the household. The list also includes lactating mothers, children under the age of 5, the handicapped, people living with HIV/AIDS, returnees, the displaced, the youth, and the elderly. Increased agricultural production and diversification, improved nutritional status of children and other vulnerable groups, improved household income base through marketing and diversified livelihood, responsible and sustainable management of natural resources to protect livelihood sources and options, and building the capacity of beneficiaries for better management of resources to increase production and income, are among the core services provided by SSUHA in this program.
Provide psychosocial support, conduct case management, strengthen community linkages and referral pathways for SGBV, provide women and girls/boys friendly spaces, conduct family tracing and re-unification, provide training and awareness at schools and host communities.