NORHED-project in South Sudan and Uganda

University collaboration on health in Uganda and South Sudan to strengthen education and research in areas critical for mama-baby survival.

Project title: SURVIVAL PLUSS: Increasing capacity for mama-baby survival in post-conflict Uganda and South Sudan  


South Sudan and Northern Uganda have very high maternal and early childhood morbidity and mortality, and at the same time very low number of health workers dedicated to maternal and child health. Gulu University, Busitema University and University of Juba in South Sudan are all young institutions, located in close geographic proximity. They are also institutions in post conflict areas where the burden of disease and death, especially among women and children, is unacceptably high.

Despite alarmingly high maternal and early childhood morbidity and mortality, these areas have staggeringly low numbers of health workers dedicated to maternal and child health. It is estimated that the ratio of paediatricians/1000 population in South Sudan is ≈0.04/100,000, while that in Northern Uganda is ≈ 0.9/100,000.

These universities have great potential of making significant and sustainable contributions to the health of their societies. At the same time they lack competent staff, adequate infrastructure and incentives to attract competent personnel. One of the greatest challenges facing the faculty of health sciences at Busitema University is gross understaffing with less than 40% of the established academic positions filled by mostly teaching assistants (first degree holders) and lecturers with master degrees. The situation is even direr for the University of Juba. Juba is in desperate need of qualified staff since the majority of the staff members did not join the University’s move from Khartoum to Juba.

Universities for development

This project aims at lowering childhood and maternal morbidity and mortality in post conflict and disaster prone communities by increasing the capacity for teaching, research and health care provision at higher education institutions in Uganda and South Sudan.

The project will consist of two major arms:

  1. A teaching/training programme with a focus on maternal and child health and 
  2. A research arm involving students and staff mainly from the University of Juba, Gulu University, and Busitema University with Makerere University (host institution) and the University of Bergen acting as anchors.
Published 25.03.2015
Last updated 08.09.2015

Total budget

2013-2018: 16.2 million NOK

Contact persons for the project: