CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

May 22, 2009 14:10 ET

Canada Supporting Health Care in War-Affected Sudan

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 22, 2009) - Member of Parliament for Calgary East, Deepak Obhrai today announced the Government of Canada will be supporting a group of Sudanese-Canadian doctors who will improve the health of up to 500,000 people in war-affected communities in rural south Sudan.

"Canada is committed to assisting people most affected by the crises in Sudan," stated Mr. Obhrai, who made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation. "This project will improve access to proper health care for so many people in desperate need."

The Southern Sudanese Healthcare Accessibility, Rehabilitation, and Education Project (SSHARE), aims to increase access to basic community health services for returnees and existing residents in Sudan. The project will support a group of 11 Sudanese-Canadian physicians, rehabilitating and equipping three health facilities, and providing vaccines to children in specific rural communities.

"Through improved health, we hope to enhance stability of war-affected communities in southern Sudan, thereby creating favourable conditions for a lasting peace," added Mr. Obhrai. "Canada plays a significant role helping to build peace and security in Sudan."

Canada has pledged almost $3 million to the three-year program, which will be implemented by the University of Calgary and Samaritan's Purse Canada, two established and trusted Canadian partners who have extensive experience in the region.



BACKGROUNDER

CANADA SUPPORTING HEALTH CARE IN WAR-AFFECTED SUDAN

The Government of Canada has pledged $2,999,005 through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), over three years to support the Southern Sudanese Healthcare Accessibility, Rehabilitation, and Education Project (SSHARE). The project will be implemented by the University of Calgary and Samaritan's Purse Canada who have extensive experience and expertise in medical education, and relief and development. Samaritan's Purse Canada has proven capacity to provide necessary assistance with infrastructure rehabilitation and development, and the University of Calgary will offer ongoing medical training and support to medical personnel in the region.

Since 2005, the University of Calgary and Samaritan's Purse Canada have been involved in retraining a group of Sudanese-Canadian doctors to support them to return to Sudan and make a contribution to rebuilding their home country. As these physicians have returned to practice medicine in Sudan, they have found poorly maintained facilities with minimal equipment and supplies, a population with relatively little medical knowledge or understanding, and largely nonexistent medical education infrastructure to provide ongoing professional support.

The objective of the SSHARE Project is to increase access to basic community health services for returnees and existing residents. More specifically, the project aims to support a group of 11 physicians who will improve the health of up to 500,000 people in rural South Sudan, specifically in Jonglei State, by ensuring a minimum of 3 health facilities be rehabilitated and equipped to help serve a minimum of 50% of the population, 30% of births be attended by skilled professionals; and 60% of children under one year receive measles vaccination.

Expected activities of the project include design and delivery of hands-on medical training at medical camps; continuing medical education workshops, seminars, and long-distance learning opportunities; distribution of medical resources to physicians; teaching/mentoring of community leaders and medical service providers; provision of medical care to communities and outlying areas; and establishment of local health committees.

This project is consistent with CIDA's priority of supporting the return and reintegration of displaced populations by building healthcare capacities in rural areas in Southern Sudan. Likewise, this initiative also supports the Government of Canada's overarching goal of supporting peace and stability in Sudan.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Michelle Coates
    Press Secretary
    819-953-6238
    or
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534
    media@acdi-cida.gc.ca