UNICEF funds construction of children’s ward

18 Oct 2011

UNICEF funds construction of children’s ward

18 October 2011 – The United Nations Children Fund has donated $160,000 (640,000 South Sudanese Pounds) to help complete a new children's ward at Malakal Teaching Hospital in Upper Nile State.

"Once the ward is completed it will contribute greatly to the improvement of the services delivered to children at the hospital," UNICEF Upper Nile team leader David Igulu said.

Currently, facilities in the children's ward at Malakal Teaching Hospital, which serves the greater Upper Nile region, are stretched and rundown.

The 80-bed ward is expected to significantly reduce child mortality rates in the hospital which also serves patients from neighbouring states.

"Lack of proper services, including infrastructure, is one of the causes leading to high infant and child mortality rates, which stand at 110 per 1,000 live births according to the Sudan Demographic Health Survey conducted in 2006," said Mr. Igulu.

The contribution constitutes 45 per cent of the total required for the project Mr. Igulu said, adding that the remaining 55 per cent would be funded by the state's Ministry of Health.

Construction of the new ward commenced in December 2010 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

Mr. Igulu, however, said that the scarcity and high cost of construction materials in the state threatened timely completion of the project.

Since South Sudan gained its independence on 9 July, neighbouring Sudan has limited the import of goods into Upper Nile State, driving up costs.