Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death among women in South Sudan, which currently ranks fifth highest in the world for maternal mortality. One of the goals of the In Deed and Truth Medical Clinic is to make childbirth safer and provide a place women can come for prenatal care as well as care for her delivery and post-natal treatment.
In an unforeseen emergency during labor, you can a get a ‘stat’ cesarean section in a Western hospital, in about 15 minutes. Here in Tonj, you’re lucky if it’s an hour, and overnight it will be three at least. Despite this, in the last 6 years we have never lost a baby for want of a quicker c-section.
The best is when God steps in and makes it unnecessary, like for the second-born twin here. His placenta was born before him and he was in a position incompatible with birth. His heart tones were barely detectable. We began to pray and also arrange a c-section for a dead baby. Somehow, after minutes without an oxygen supply, he was born naturally, responded beautifully to resuscitation and was discharged a healthy baby, showing no signs of his ordeal. Praise God for His help!
The 25-bed ward is at full capacity, filled with sick neonates, infants, children and pregnant mothers.
This past month has seen an influx of young children admitted with severe dehydration due to vomiting and/or diarrhea. It is scary how rapidly they can deteriorate even within a few hours.
We are fortunate to have the resources to effectively treat their dehydration, as well as the underlying cause. We import a special therapeutic milk that aids in building their strength and stabilizes their condition so they can be referred to the government nutrition program to receive PlumpyNut, a lifesaving peanut paste used to treat severe acute malnutrition in young children. We are heading into a season of food shortage and ask for your prayers and wisdom as we treat these precious children. The milk is expensive to buy and has to be brought in from Kenya. Despite our best care and prayers, some don’t make it but those that do we like to celebrate their victory stories, like Deng! He is a 1-year-old boy who arrived to the ward severely dehydrated and also acutely malnourished.
We rehydrated Deng using a feeding tube as he was too weak to drink. We also started him on a careful treatment plan for malnutrition using the special therapeutic milk. After one week we were able to discharge him home.
**Pray for the current food situation.
The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ – Mathew 25:40