History of Nursing & Midwifery in South Sudan


Investing in Midwives

Country launch of the UNFPA/ICM Global Programme

  • UNFPA supports the Ministry of Health to launch the global programme Investing in Midwives, which is implemented in over 30 countries around the world in collaboration with the International Confederation of Midwives.
  • In Southern Sudan, this programme is launched under the distinct pleasure of the Vice President.


Launch of the South Sudan Nurses & Midwives Association (SSNAMA)

January to May

  • The draft of the Midwifery and Nursing Association Constitution is created.
  • Ten nurses and midwives are invited from each state to attend a meeting in Juba, with partner UN agencies and other national partners, to discuss what an association would look like and why it is important for the future of the professions.
  • Inaugural Meeting is held and the Association is launched by the Under Secretary, with elections of an interim executive: President, Jemelia Beda; Vice President, Polly Grace; Secretary, Repent Khamis; Treasurer, Michael Malish; Midwifery Chapter Chairperson & Vice President, Petronella Wawa; and four Committee members.
  • On May 5, International Day of the Midwife, there is a March through the streets of Juba, ending at JCONAM, where a rally is held.
  • NAMASS is born: National Association of Nurses and Midwives of Southern Sudan.
  • Plan is created for UNFPA and SSNAMA executives to visit all ten states in Southern Sudan to discuss and educate about the importance of the association and to establish state branches.
  • The State Chapter Handbook is created.
  • The Association is unable to register as there is a delay in receiving the no objection letter from the MOH.
  • UNFPA and MOH issue a supplementary on strengthening nursing and midwifery in the South Sudan Medical Journal.

July: South Sudanese Independence

  • The successful outcome of the referendum results in Southern Sudan celebrating its independence in July 2011, becoming the Republic of South Sudan.

July to November

  • Team from UNFPA, Ministry of Health, and Executive Members of the newly formed association visit all ten states of the country, hold meetings, and establish State Chapters (branches) of the association.
  • The first national workshop to finalize the diploma in midwifery curriculum is held with participants from ICM and representatives from training institutes in neighbouring countries. The midwifery curriculum is validated and approved for use.
  • UNFPA first procures and distributes midwifery education equipment and simulators to four health training in states across the country, and establishes a modern state of the art library and skills lab at the Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery.
  • The Nursing and Midwifery Technical Working Group is established as an advisory to the Director General for Nursing and Midwifery.
  • The first stakeholders workshop on nursing and midwifery regulations is held with midwives and nurses from across South Sudan, including representatives from ICM, ECSACON, and councils from Uganda and Kenya. A road map is developed for establishing nursing and midwifery regulations in the country, and a task force is established to review the draft Bill developed by a UNFPA midwifery specialist.
  • 23 students are granted scholarships to pursue studies for a certificate in midwifery in Uganda, as a collaborative effort between the Ministries of Health of South Sudan and Uganda. Interviewers from training institutes in Uganda arrive in South Sudan with support from UNFPA, and 44 students are selected out of 128 interviewed for scholarships. However, the males selected could not accept these scholarships as Ugandan institutes do not train male midwives.
  • 17 additional international UN volunteer midwives are deployed across all the ten states of the country. These midwives work to support midwifery service delivery, strengthen state associations, and provide mentoring to students on the clinical areas.
  • UNFPA also supports the MOH to hold a review meeting of the deployment of UN volunteer midwives. Representatives from hospitals in all ten states of the country, where midwives are deployed, converge in Juba for this activity.
  • There is a Ministerial Order to stop all training of traditional birth attendants, community midwives, village midwives, and maternal and child health workers. Only enrolled Certificate (2.5 years) and Diploma (3 years) midwives will be trained.