The Strengthening Midwifery Services in South Sudan (SMS II) project aims to increase the availability of skilled health care providers, especially midwives, to reduce maternal and infant mortality in South Sudan.

The 5-year project officially began in 2016. Supported by Global Affairs Canada, it is being implemented in partnership with the UNFPA and South Sudan’s Ministry of Health. CAM is responsible for providing direct peer to peer mentoring support and technical expertise from practicing Canadian midwives and midwifery educators.

Justine Mangwi Juma Olimpio with his Canadian colleagues
Canadian midwives with South Sudanese midwife, Justine Mangwi Juma Olimpio. From left to right: Justine, Alixandra Bacon, Susana Ku, Shannon Kaupp, Nicole McCloud, Magali Coursange, Emmanuelle Dennie‑Filion and CAM President, Tonia Occhionero

As part of the project, CAM has paired 17 early career midwives in Canada with 17 early career midwives in South Sudan. The Canadian and South Sudanese peers share their experiences and clinical practice learning with each other remotely, via Facebook, email and other online tools. Despite the distance factor, midwives from both countries have formed a bond based on shared professional skills and dedication to maternal health.

Video documents South Sudanese midwife’s visit to Canada

In May 2017, one of the midwives in South Sudan had an opportunity to visit Canada and meet some of his peers. Many of the Canadian midwives had the chance to meet South Sudanese peer, Justine Mangwi Juma Olimpio, during his visit. This is his story.

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