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Global Health

Speeches Shim

South Sudan health
USAID programs help prevent tropical diseases like schistosomiasis
Sarah Armstrong/USAID

South Sudan struggles with some of the worst health indicators in the world. After decades of conflict, the vast majority of South Sudan’s population lacks access to essential health services, safe water, and sanitation.  The maternal mortality ratio, estimated by the World Health Organization to be between 789 and 1,150 per 100,000 live births, is among the highest globally.  Child mortality rates for children under age five are also high, with one in every 10 children dying before their fifth birthday. Malaria is a major cause of sickness and death in South Sudan, especially among children and pregnant women. HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, including polio, COVID-19 and Ebola virus disease, are a serious threat in South Sudan. At 2.1 percent, HIV prevalence is considered a generalized epidemic. Only 41 percent of people in South Sudan have access to basic safe drinking water, and only 11 percent have access to adequate sanitation facilities. USAID’s health programs focus on three key U.S. government objectives: preventing child and maternal deaths, controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and combating infectious diseases. This includes the fight against COVID-19, with the U.S. government providing $197 million for the pandemic response in South Sudan.

Last updated: November 10, 2022

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