Giving Birth in an IDP Camp

The math is not good for displaced women in South Sudan.

Since the start of the civil war in South Sudan in December, some 1.3 million people have been displaced. This means that many hundreds of thousands of women and girls of child-bearing age have been dislocated from their homes and communities.

This fact sheet from the Reproductive Health in Crisis Consortium says that between 6 to14 percent of all displaced women between the ages of 15-49 could be pregnant at a given time, and 15 out of every 100 pregnant women will experience unpredictable obstetric complications.

Those are terrible statistics. But to make matters worse even in peace time, South Sudan had the worst maternal mortality ratio in the world, with as many as one in seven women dying from complications of pregnancy or childbirth.

This excellent video from UNICEF  offers context for the immense challenges facing pregnant women in IDP camps.  

Unfortunately, relief for the women of South Sudan is not coming soon enough. Fighting continues, and funding levels for the humanitarian relief operation–the kind that saved this woman and her baby — are only filled to 41% of the required $1.8 billion