Let’s reduce child mortality rate fast – Dr Kaseba

FIRST Lady Dr Christine Kaseba has called for accelerated progress in the reduction of under-five child mortality rate if Zambia is to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target by the year 2015.

Dr Kaseba said this could only be done through everyone’s participation and support in the delivery of good health services to the children in the country.

She said Zambia was among other countries in the world that is expected to reduce under-five mortality rates by two thirds by 2015.

” With less than two years to go, we need to accelerate our progress and this can only be done through the involvement of everyone in the delivery of health services,” she said.

The First Lady said this during the Open Day at Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital (ADH) in Ndola yesterday.

This year’s event was celebrated under the theme ‘Provision of paediatric health services through public-private partnership’.

Dr Kaseba appealed to the corporate world, private sector, individuals and the general public to supplement Government efforts to upgrade the children’s hospitals in a quest to enhance the provision of child healthcare services.

“We cannot let Government shoulder the entire burden alone, a sick child has ramification beyond the household. Productivity goes down due to the absenteeism and lack of concentration by parents, organisations and the country at large suffers,” she said.

She said it was an obligation of everyone to ensure that good care and health needs of children are taken care of.

The First Lady before the function took time to visit the sick children and their mothers in the wards at the hospital and donated baby clothes,mealie-meal and other foodstuffs.

She was impressed with the smiles that nurses were giving to patients and mothers at the hospital and urged them to continue as smiles contributed to healing in patients.

The First Lady after the tour commissioned the medical conference centre that was funded and constructed by the Hindu Samaji community of Ndola at a cost of K125 000.

She also handed over a truck to the institution donated by Lafarge Cement limited.

Hospital senior medical superintendent Sam Phiri said the institution was working hard in strengthening infection prevention and reducing child mortality rate.

He said the institution had this year recorded a decline in pneumonia deaths, adding that the hospital would work hard in ensuring that child mortality rate reduced by 2015.

Dr Phiri also called on members of the public to come on board and support the institution in the delivery of good health services.