—The Luangwa District Health Office has commended the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) for supplementing government’s efforts in reducing maternal deaths in the District.
And CIDRZ has called on traditional leaders to help if government is to make strides in its quest to reduce maternal deaths in the country.
Luangwa District Health Planning Officer, Robert Mwale, commended CIDRZ for working with government in reducing maternal deaths in the country which he said his ministry wants to eradicate by providing better health services close to the people.
Speaking during a Reproductive Health Community Conservation Dissemination meeting organized CIDRZ with the community at Luangwa Boma Rural Health Centre Mr Mwale said the initiative of the organization had come at a right time when all stakeholders should unite in reducing maternal deaths.
He thanked CIDRZ under its Better Health Outcome through Mentoring and Assessment (BHOMA) project for involving communities in coming up with interventions of improving health within communities.
Mr Mwale said government has embarked on construction of more health posts throughout the country in an effort to take health service close to the people as possible.
He urged couples to unite and ensure that these health services that government is providing them are put to good use by avoiding deliveries at homes as these mostly result in complications which cause deaths amongst women before and during childbirth.
And BHOMA CIDRZ Project Team Leader, Moses Mwanza, has called on traditional leaders and other stakeholders to encourage men to be involved in reproductive health if maternal deaths are to be reduced.
Mr Mwanza said it has been noted that men were not very much involved in reproductive health and this has contributed to some maternal deaths which could have been avoided if men and women were all involved.
He appealed to traditional leaders and stakeholders to put up strategies of ensuring that men are also involved in reproductive health and support each other during the pregnancy of the women until birth.
Mr Mwanza said it is only if men and women are involved in reproductive health that the country will reduce maternal deaths.
He said majority of the women were subjected to be on their own during pregnancy until the time of giving birth which should not be the case.
The BHOMA CIDRZ Team leader further expressed concern on early pregnancies amongst school-going girls and appealed to the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) and the District Medical Office to find interventions of stopping the vice.
Mr Mwanza said the project, which has been working with the community in Luangwa district for some time has found that there were a lot of early marriages and pregnancies amongst school-going girls.
He also appealed to traditional leaders to help in fighting the vice as it was a contributing factor to maternal deaths in the district.
Mr Mwanza assured that the BHOMA project under CIDRZ would continue working with government and traditional leaders and the communities at large to ensure that maternal deaths are reduced.
Meanwhile the Luangwa Boma Rural Health Centre Catchment area community has resolved to form community male support groups which will be monitoring and encouraging the menfolk to be involved in reproductive health.
Speaking on behalf of the community at the same meeting, White Nyienda said the community will work flat out in ensuring that men are involved in reducing maternal deaths by forming male support groups which will monitor and encourage men to be actively involved in reproductive health.
Mr Nyirenda said during their group discussions they had found out that majority of the men were not involved in reproductive health and resolved to form the support groups which will work with traditional leaders and the health staff in promoting male involvement in reproductive health.
The NGO had called the community to find ways and interventions of reducing maternal deaths.