Solar-Powered Lanterns Are Ensuring Safe Births in Sudan

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Solar-Powered Lanterns - Midwives
© UNFPA

Majority of women in Sudan rely on midwives during pregnancy. The lack of electricity in rural areas poses a barrier to the work of the midwives. In line with UNFPA’s strategic priorities in ending maternal and newborn deaths, UNFPA distributed over 1,000 solar-powered lanterns in April 2022.

KHARTOUM June 2: Majority of women in Sudan rely on midwives during and after pregnancy. Their critical role goes beyond delivering babies. They also provide antenatal and postnatal care, counseling and psychological support and offer essential health messages to help mothers and their families raise healthy children.

The lack of electricity in rural areas, displacement settings and refugee camps poses a barrier to the work and mobility of the midwives. In such settings, the needs of women, especially pregnant women, increase as provision of health services is interrupted.

“We frequently had to hold a mobile flashlight steady in our mouths to support women giving birth at night. It was especially challenging when the woman would experience birth complications and we would have only seconds to act quickly and efficiently to save her life and that of her child.” Midwife Awatef, West Darfur.

In line with UNFPA’s strategic priorities in ending preventable maternal and newborn deaths, UNFPA teams in West, North and South Darfur, North Kordofan, Blue Nile and Gedaref distributed over 1,000 solar-powered lanterns in April 2022 donated by the Signify Foundation; to assist community midwives carry out their work in villages which experience frequent power cuts. With these solar-powered lanterns, UNFPA aims to improve the mobility of midwives during the night and to ensure women in rural areas experience safe child births.

“The solar lights are proving very important in our efforts to reduce maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity.” Midwife Khadija, Blue Nile.

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