Bromley charity in bid to help war-torn South Sudan
PUBLISHED: 11:26 10 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:26 10 May 2016
Hope Health Action has identified a range of projects in need of urgent support
A Bromley charity is to expand its operations in a bid to cut maternal mortality rates in war-ravaged South Sudan.
Hope Health Action (HHA) has been providing life-saving health care to Haiti for ten years and now hopes to make a difference in the African country, where tens of thousands have been killed since 2013.
The charity identified a range of projects in urgent need of support during its first visit to South Sudan, including improvements to the maternity ward of a government facility trying to serve a population of 400,000 to 500,000 people.
HHA’s patron, actress Laura Carmichael, said: “I’m really excited that HHA is now venturing into South Sudan, seeking to replicate the amazing work I’ve witnessed them do in Haiti.
“South Sudan has the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, which I know everyone at HHA (myself included) is keen to stand against.
“In the last ten years the charity has made a huge impact in Northern Haiti, co-founding one of the leading hospitals in the region which is providing safe births to 1,000+ mothers each year. The charity now has a heart to replicate that and support the desperate need for peace in South Sudan.”
Recent estimates predict that as many as 5.3 million of South Sudan’s population will face severe food shortages this year, and the country is rated one of the most fragile in the world.
It gained its independence in 2011 but has been riven by civil war since 2013, following the outbreak of a power struggle between President Kiir and his ex-deputy Riek Machar.
Charity co-founder and chief executive officer Carwyn Hill, currently in South Sudan, commented: “This is a country in utter devastation. The hospitals we’ve visited are barely surviving. Staff haven’t been paid, cupboards are empty, there’s no electricity, the situation is grave and in urgent need of international support.”
In Haiti, HHA has co-founded one of the leading hospitals in the north of the country and is currently undertaking a major community health programme with funding from UKaid.