High maternal mortality worries government
Choma, September 18, 2014, ZANIS… Government is concerned about the high maternal mortality incidences in the country and has appealed to expectant mothers to ensure they delivered at health centers to help reduce the deaths.
Choma District Administrative Officer (DAO) Vincent Sikanyele says expectant mothers should access quality health services from clinics and hospitals to reduce the maternal deaths.
Speaking in Choma today during the opening of a three-day workshop on Change-Champions organized by the District community medical office, Mr Sikanyela says no woman in the country should die while giving birth.
“Commitment and love for our communities’ safe motherhood activities need everyone to be involved and become part of the joy. No woman should die while giving birth,” he said.
He said the ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health was committed to ensuring that Zambia continue scoring reductions in maternal deaths through change champion approach.
The workshop which is supported by the Safe Motherhood Giving Life (SMGL), a USAID funded project has an objective of reducing maternal mortality.
Mr Sikanyela called for involvement of community leaders such as traditional and civic leaders and faith based organizations to realize government’s objective.
In SMGL phase 1, four districts which include Kalomo, Lundazi, Mansa and Nyimba were targeted to enhance the use of health services by raising awareness among community members.
In phase II, five districts which include Choma, Pemba, Chipata, Kabwe, Samfya and Zimba were targeted in which the Communication Support for Health (CSH) Zambia project would provide support to Government to design implement and manage effective health campaigns.
And SMGL-CSH national coordinator Maggie Sikamba said chiefs are primary targets in the change-champions training because of their major influence in community.
She said in Southern Province about 125 community leaders including chiefs would be trained as Change-Champions to promote safe motherhood.
Ms Sikamba said that a reduction of 35 percent maternal mortality had been recorded in four districts of the phase one project since its inception in 2013.
And speaking earlier Chief Macha of the Tonga speaking people in southern province said there was need for Government and other stakeholders to increase the number of health centers in remote areas.
The traditional leader said improved access to health facilities was key to addressing maternal mortality especially in rural areas.
He said expectant mothers in his chiefdom still cover about 30 kilo meters to the nearest centre resulting in some mothers opting to give birth from their homes while others on the way to health centers.