In East and Southern Africa, the achievement of SDG 3 is particularly crucial. According to WHO, Sub-Saharan Africa “confronts the world’s most dramatic public health crisis”. Mortality among children under 5 years of age remains high, with a rate of 84 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015. The incidence of HIV infection is still highest in sub-Saharan Africa, with 1.5 new infections per 1,000 uninfected people in 2015. In 2016, sub-Saharan Africa was home to 90 per cent of malaria cases and 91 per cent of malaria deaths.
In Guinea-Bissau there is a shortage of human resources in all areas of reproductive health. The number of gynaecology/obstetrics specialists and midwives is inadequate. To address this issue, and in collaboration with United Nations Agencies in the framework of the H4+ Initiative to improve maternal and child health, eight UN Volunteer specialists in paediatrics, gynaecology, and anaesthesiology are serving with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Bentiu, South Sudan: From my time as a United Nations Volunteer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), I will always remember waking up to the sounds of gunshots and heavy mortar shelling on Monday the 16th of December 2013. An uneventful weekend had been followed by one of the most chaotic and frightening times in my life.