—–Government says it is committed to the promotion of maternal and child health in order to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Copperbelt Province Minister Mwenya Musenge said this at the handover of assorted items worth about KR80 000 from Zambia Integrated System Strengthening Program (ZISSP) to Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAGs) at Fisenge Health Center in Luanshya yesterday.
Mr Musenge said government appreciated efforts of organisations that partnered with it in improving the lives of citizens through initiatives such as SMAGs program.
The minister said such partnerships will go a long way in contributing towards Zambia’s attainment of the MDGs.
He said SMAGs program played an important role in maternal health issues, adding that a well trained and enhanced SMAGs program benefited the community and a nation as a whole.
Mr Musenge said the program will not only help male involvement in safe motherhood activities increase but will also help communities freely discuss issues affecting them and how to overcome them.
He said the SMAGs program will enhance community participation in maternal, new born and child health be strengthened and improve the community’s knowledge on safe motherhood issues through health education.
Mr Musenge said the items handed over would assist SMAGs to perform their duties efficiently for the service and benefit of the communities and urged the recipients to guard them jealously.
Mr Musenge said with the PF government there was heightened political will towards reducing maternal mortality, infant and neonatal mortality by 2015.
And Speaking earlier at the same function, ZISSP Management Specialist, Musonda Kaluba, said the organization focused on reproductive health in order to help enhance institutional deliveries.
Ms Kaluba said a total of 79 community volunteers from Fisenge, Kafubu block, Kawama and Mpatamato all of Luanshya were trained as SMAGs and that they had learnt how to educate, advise and refer the community members on safe motherhood.
Items handed over to the SMAGs included bicycles, mega hones, rain coats, vests bags, Chitenge materials, hardcover books, pens and identity cards.