Thursday, 23 April 2015

Zambia Launches MDGI To Reduce Maternal, Child Mortality

By Paul Shalala in Masaiti
Emmerine Kabanshi

Community Development Minister Emmerine Kabanshi has launched the K400 million Millennium Development Goals Initiative (MDGI) which is aimed at reducing the deaths of women and children in two provinces.

The four year initiative which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Zambian government and UNICEF, will be implemented in eleven districts of Lusaka and Copperbelt Province.

At the launch of the project in Masaiti District on Wednesday last week, Ms Kabanshi said the reduced child and mortality rates as revealed by the Zambia Demographic Health Survey are still unacceptably high hence the launch of the MDGI.

She said the initiative will help improve health and nutrition among children and women.

As part of the project, UNICEF representative Laston  Chitembo handed over a wheelchair, labour ward utensils and other medical kits worth over K700,000 to Kashitu Health Center in Masaiti District.

During the four year project, the cooperating partners will donate land cruisers, motorcycle ambulances, surgical kits, wheelchairs, stretchers and operating theatre tables to various health facilities.

This equipment will help in increasing access to health by women and children and reduce deaths.

According to the preliminary report of the 2014 Zambia Demographic Health Survey, Zambia recorded a reduction in the maternal mortality rate from 591 to 398 deaths out of 100,000 live births from 2007 to 2013.

However, stakeholders are still worried that the figures are still high for a developing country which is losing a lot of mothers and children during delivery.

Long distances to health centers and lack of medical personnel and ambulances has added to the many challenges needed to reduce the maternal mortality rates in Zambia.

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