The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has completed the renovation of a midwifery school in Al Fashir, North Darfur, in time for Safe Motherhood Day.
In addition to renovating the school, which can now accommodate up to 100 boarding students, the ICRC repaired basic furniture, provided teaching materials, beds and bedding, and built a new kitchen and a dining hall to improve the living conditions of students.
"Currently, the ICRC supports the midwifery training of 27 women from rural areas in West and North Darfur that have limited maternal health services. We select trainees in partnership with the Ministry of Health. After completing the one-year training course, the midwives provide basic health services for pregnant women and new-born babies in their communities," explained Cedric Clerc, who runs the ICRC's health activities in Sudan.
"We appreciate the support given by the ICRC, which has significantly improved the ability of the midwifery school to train midwives from remote areas of Darfur," said Hassanat Al Nour, the ministry of health reproductive health coordinator for North Darfur.
Almost 30 midwives have undergone training on ICRC-sponsored courses since 2010. They are now at work providing maternal health care in their communities. ICRC health staff maintain contact with them and give them further training and advice on hygiene.
The ICRC is supporting seven health clinics in Darfur, and in 2011 these clinics treated some 116,000 people. Over the last nine months, the clinics held an estimated 12,600 antenatal sessions for pregnant women. Children in Darfur also received vaccinations, including more than 127,000 who received polio vaccinations as part of the ICRC-backed national polio vaccination campaign.