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{Photo credit: MSH}Hon. Dr. Riek Gai Kok (Minister of Health, Republic of South Sudan), Colin Gilmartin (MSH), Alfred Driwale (MSH Consultant), and Chair of the Health Parliamentary Committee of the Republic of South Sudan.Photo credit: MSH

South Sudan faces extraordinary challenges to build and strengthen its health system to meet the basic health needs of its people. After decades of civil war, the country faces a critical shortage of trained health personnel,[1] limited access[2] to essential health services,[3] and consequently experiences some of the worst health indicators globally. The majority of childhood deaths are due to preventable causes such as diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia while an estimated one in seven women die due to pregnancy related complications.[4]

 {Photo credit: Brian W. Simpson}The Global Fund’s Peter Sands speaking at a #WHA71 side event in Geneva on May 22, 2018.Photo credit: Brian W. Simpson

(This article was originally published in Global Health NOW.) by Brian Simpson Brian W. Simpson, editor-in-chief, Global Health NOW GENEVA – Global Fund executive director Peter Sands set an ominous challenge before experts at a Monday side event of the World Health Assembly: “The number of infectious disease outbreaks is going up,” Sands said. “This is not a problem that is going away as mankind gets bigger and richer. This is a problem the seems to be increasing in magnitude.”

{Photo credit:  Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH}Photo credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH

Half of children under the age of five in Madagascar are chronically malnourished: 24% suffer from moderate malnutrition and 26% from severe malnutrition, according to the 2012-2013 Millennium Development Goal Survey. Children in rural areas suffer disproportionately because they are often cut off from resources and information, and are typically far from health centers that support family health. Community health volunteers (CHVs) like Grancie Cicie help close the gap.

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