Training Midwives for Healthy Communities

Training Midwives for Healthy Communities

During a recent field visit, I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and motivation of the young midwives trained under this project. They responded superbly to specific technical questions, demonstrating that their knowledge is up to date.

Mr. Christopher Knauth, EU Delegation to Sudan Project Manager


Human Development and Health Indicators in Sudan are very poor, with enormous disparities between the centre and the peripheries. Delivery of basic services is inadequate, and comprehensive health services are not accessible to 66% of the Sudanese population. In many remote areas, access is not even guaranteed to basic health facilities. Under-five mortality rate: 128 / 1,000 live births); Maternal mortality ratio 720 / 100,000 live births).


  • To improve the conditions of vulnerable people in Eastern Sudan rural area.
  • Specifically this means improving basic and continuous health education, and improving the "health environment" (structures, electricity, water, equipment, drugs). The project also strengthens both the health district and the Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC) System, and increases access to safe and potable water sources, environmental sanitation and hygiene facilities.


  • 140 Midwives trained on Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC).
  • 4 health facilities and related accommodation for the health staff constructed.


  • The budget for the project “Improve the Health Status of Vulnerable Populations in Eastern Sudan” is EUR 4.35 million.
  • Beneficiaries: 1,800,000 people, State and Federal Ministry of Health Staff, Academies of Health Science and health staff in three States: Red Sea, Kassala and Gedaref. In particular, approximately 1,200 Midwives of Gedaref State.
  • Duration: from January 2015 to December 2017.
  • Implementing partner in the States of Gedaref, Kassala and Red Sea: Italian Development Cooperation Office.


Ikhlas Hassan Ali, Director of Midwifery School, Wasat, Gedaref State

The main challenge is to bring girls to school - to teach them how to be good midwives. Some families are more conservative than others; they refrain from sending their daughters to school. Hence, mobilising the community and spreading awareness is important for us.

Even when they do attend the school, teaching midwifery to young girls is not easy! Many of our students are illiterate and struggle with hygiene.

This project has been a blessing. New health facilities have been built, and others were renovated. We now benefit from medicines, training, workshops, transportation and higher hygiene. Students feel inspired and motivated, and even their living conditions are now much better. The school now receives an average of 100 students per year. Even the most reluctant families are now sending their daughters to school. Our work requires much commitment, and students need to be understanding and compassionate n their work.

Already we see results: mortality rates among women are decreasing and also the survival rate of new-borns are higher. This school and this project are just two small gears in the bigger Reproductive Health System, but they keep the health wheel going, and I feel the best is yet to come.