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Strengthening Services in South Sudan Phase 2 (SMSII)

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Strengthening Services in South Sudan Phase 2 (SMSII) aimed to increase the availability of skilled health care providers, especially midwives, in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality in South Sudan. SMSII was a UNFPA-led project with CAM being a key implementing partner and contributing to strengthening midwifery education, regulation, and association strengthening alongside the South Sudan Nurses and Midwives Association (SSNAMA) to improve health outcomes and gender equality across the country.  SMSII was funded by the governments of Canada and Sweden. 

Project Highlights

Association Strengthening

  • 1,368 qualified nurses and midwives joined the association between 2016–2020. 9 continuing professional development workshops organized by SSNAMA’s staff for its members, covering topics such as clinical communication, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights, infection prevention and control, and respectful maternity care.
  • Operational research was conducted in 12 health facilities in South Sudan with the goal of offering recommendations on improving and standardizing the quality of care at primary health institutions.
  • National Mentorship Guidelines developed for recent graduates.
  • continuing professional development portal was created for midwives and nurses and features information and trainings related to prenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal care. For more information:
  • Dates: 2016-2021


  • 53 health professionals and medical students were trained on emergency obstetrics and surgery to increase the capacities of health care providers in emergency obstetrics and surgery. (2019-2021)
  • 15 Communications trainings were conducted for to 15 members of SSNAMA, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of South Sudan (NAMCOSS) and the South Sudan Ministry of Health.
  • A midwifery tutor’s manual was developed and distributed to approximately 100 educators. 265 students have graduated and 169 are currently enrolled in a diploma in midwifery.
  • 21 nursing and midwifery tutors have attained a Diploma in Health Personnel Education, strengthening South Sudan’s educational capacity.
  • Canadian midwife consultants led courses on teaching and learning principlescurriculum development, teaching and learning resources, research, and data analysis were developed as part of the Diploma in Health Personnel Education.
  • Creation of a family planning toolkit for midwives providing family planning information sessions in clinics, homes and in public spaces in South Sudan. The toolkit also consists of a discreet take-home booklet. Over 100 manuals and 1000 take home booklets were distributed.
  • Labour Pains three-part comic book series about midwives in South Sudan saw a distribution of over 3000 copies in South Sudan

Promotion of Excellence 

  • IPSI parliamentary reception in 2018 CAM showcased midwives’ efforts to save lives and speak up for the rights of women and girls in South Sudan and around the world. More than 200 international parliamentarians were in Ottawa to attend a high-level conference on population and development.

Peer-to-Peer Mentorship Program

The peer-to-peer mentorship program provided an opportunity for peer exchanges between young Canadian and South Sudanese midwives. Over 1000 exchanges on topics such as hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, hypertension, retained placenta, shoulder dystocia, breech deliveries, sexual violence, menstruation difficulties, preeclampsia, and obstructed labour have been recorded through Whatsapp, Facebook, and email exchanges.

Vocational Skills Development for a Sustainable South Sudan Nurses and Midwives Association 

In partnership with the Vocational Skills Development Organization of South Sudan (VOSDO), SSNAMA established 7 income-generating activities for its state chapters across the country, including pharmacies and restaurants, and supported the submission of 5 funding proposals by SSNAMA to increase their programming reach and financial stability. Canadian midwives and other supporters raised over $7000 CAD to support the start-ups.

Labour Pains Animated Film

The 8-minute animated film, Labour Pains, based on the true story of a young midwife using her training and ingenuity to save the life of a mother from a post-partum hemorrhage, has been screened in nine international film festivals (including Canada, USA, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia). The film is being used as an advocacy tool to promote the importance and value of midwives in the health care system.

Labour Pains animated film has had 18,000 views online to date.

Voice Choice Change: Lives of Midwives Documentary

VOICE, CHOICE, CHANGE: The Lives of Midwives offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of four, very different, very complex women in South Sudan and Canada. We follow the midwives as they negotiate a diverse array of personal and professional challenges from difficult births, to coping with non-existent resources, to the ongoing search for respect in their respective midwifery practices.

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