–The Mayor of Ndola says government is working hard with other stakeholders to advance health care services in the country.
Davis Chuwala said this during the launch of the Touch of an Angel programme in Kaniki in Ndola yesterday whose main objective is to provide mothers with critical items required during baby’s first hours upon birth.
Mr Chiwala said the project had come at the right time when government needed help to improve health care provision in the city.
Mr Chiwala said the local authority was grateful to the Touch of an Angel’s initiative as the project had the potential to change the social status of many lives in Ndola.
He also encouraged mothers to utilise antenatal services the District Health Management Team (DHMT) was providing in the area.
And speaking earlier at the same function, Ndola District Medical Officer, Kakungu Simpungwe, said the goal of DHMT is to ensure that all women deliver at health centres in order to avert maternal and neonatal deaths.
Dr Simpungwe observed that most women in Kaniki deliver at home due to long distances from the health centre which put women at risk of developing serious complications that led to the death of both the mother and the child.
Dr Simpungwe explained that Ndola district has 19 government health centres out of which nine offer maternity services and Kaniki is included.
She, however, noted that out of the expected deliveries of 315 in 2012, 206 took place at the health centre whilst during the first quarter of 2013 institutional deliveries stood at 41.8 per cent.
Dr Simpungwe called on women of Kaniki to deliver at the health facility so that when there is an emergency it would be easy for health workers to refer mothers to Ndola Central Hospital.
She said the staff at Kaniki health centre conduct outreach under-five and family planning services on a monthly basis.
She added that in future the centre would make outreach services integrated by services like antenatal, VCT and general screening of patients.
Dr Simpungwe said the introduction of outreach antenatal services would facilitate the identification and enrolment of pregnant women on Touch of an Angel programme.
She also called on well wishers to assist Kaniki health centre to help it procure tents and other requisites at a cost of KR20 000 to facilitate integrated outreach services.
And president of Touch of an Angel project, Chanda Mutale, said the organisation’s target is to reach out to as many as 80 per cent of newly born babies and eventually other parts of Zambia.
Ms Mutale said the project was a way of encouraging mothers to utilise antenatal services being provided in the 11 zones in Kaniki in order to improve safe motherhood.