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The project area in Akon North is inaccessible by car about six months per year, due to annual flooding. Preparation for the rainy season is done in order to ensure that medical supplies and supplementary food for malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women are available on-site before the river fills up. Access to health services during the rainy season is a new experience for the population of Akon North. Awien Dut Manyok is mother of eight children. She has come to the primary health care unit in Mayen Pajok for her third antenatal care (ANC) visit. ‘I also used to attend ANC services with my previous pregnancies, but the clinic was far. I had to walk for seven hours to reach the nearest health facility. Now the health facility in Mayen Pajok is functional, I only have to walk for 1,5 hours to reach here.

Jervas Deng Makuer, nurse, shows the registration book for ANC. ‘I assess whether the woman has a normal pregnancy and make sure that she gets the necessary vaccinations. If the woman has an abnormal pregnancy, I refer her.’ When that is the case, he shows the woman pictures of complications that can happen during pregnancy to help her understand the situation. The health facility is renovated (including a functional boreholes, latrines, incinerator, furniture and equipment) and staffed with sufficient health personnel. ‘The staff is trained on different topics including medicine prescription, to ensure proper prescription and use of medication,’ tells Daniel Awang, project coordinator.