Cape Breton University is working with BRAC South Sudan and Uganda and the South Sudanese Ministry of Health to identify the most effective ways to incentivize community health workers for their efforts in reducing child and maternal mortality in their communities.
The South Sudan Physician Organization (SSPO) is an NGO run by South Sudanese medical doctors. Many of them were once "lost boys" who were forced to flee southern Sudan in the early days of its conflict. The boys (and two girls) trained to become doctors in Cuba, became Canadian citizens as refugees, and returned to South Sudan when the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended war with Sudan.
In partnership with the Ministry of Health, SSPO has established a clinic in the town of Bor. SSPO is working with Cape Breton University to train and support Community Health Workers to serve vulnerable populations, including individuals including internally displaced families from the conflict.
BRAC's Community Health Volunteers sometimes sell basic medicines in their communities to meet demand for health products and generate income. Most rural areas of South Sudan, however, are non-cash economies where barter and subsistence agriculture predominate. Led by BRAC Researcher Reajul Chowdhury, we are experimenting with community health workers accepting payment in agricultural commodities.