The Copperbelt’s Masaiti District has seen a significant decrease in the number of maternal and child deaths, according to Acting District Health Director Christopher Mwape.
Dr. Mwape attributes the improvement to progress towards achieving Legacy Goal Number One of the 2017-2021 National Health Strategic Plan, Reducing Maternal and Child Mortality.
He stated that the district has seen a significant increase in the number of hospital maternal deliveries and, as a result, a decrease in the number of deaths among expectant mothers and children.
“We have seen a huge improvement with an increased number of expectant mothers seeking health care and utilizing maternal health services, starting with antenatal visits, leading up to hospital deliveries and this has helped reduce the number of neonatal deaths among other maternal health related issues in our community” Dr Mwape said.
He was speaking when a faith based organization, God’s Christian Missionary Services (GCMS) donated four maternity beds and 14 maternity hampers valued at Sixty Four thousand Three hundred and Forty kwacha (K64, 340) ,to Mushili Clinic in Masaiti district .
Dr Mwape thanked GCMS for partnering with the government in averting maternal and child morbidity adding that the government alone could not manage to meet its goals of delivering quality health care.
“We are greatly humbled by this public private partnership with GCMS which has proved to be an all-weather friend, in the past they have helped the clinic with maintenance works, clearing of water bills and what we are witnessing today. Until now, the health facility had only one delivery bed and two postnatal beds, which has now been increased to two delivery beds with fived postnatal beds’ ‘ he stated.
And GCMS President Elijah Pule said his organization made the donation after visiting the clinic and discovered that it had inadequate furniture and supplies for expectant mothers.
Pastor Pule said “This is not our first donation to this clinic, we have made other donations especially with the COVID- 19 pandemic and it was during those visits that we discovered that the clinic only had two beds and we lobbied from our partners in the United States who have shared with us this donation we are presenting today”.
He urged the hospital staff and the end users of the donation to put it to good use and hoped that it would help in creating a comfortable environment for expectant mothers.
Some expectant mothers present during the donation thanked GCMS for the gesture, with Sharon Chali expressing happiness to be in a clean environment, adding that the hampers would encourage mothers to deliver their babies from the health facility.
Another expectant mother Carol Liyuni shared her experience “ this is my second time coming to this health facility for maternity visits, the hospital used to only accommodate three people but now I am happy that a lot of women can stay here and deliver their babies from here” she said.
The donation comprised a delivery bed, three postnatal beds, 16 pairs of white bed sheets, and curtains, and 14 maternity hampers which include a code clump, receiver blankets, baby clothing, diapers and maternity sanitary towels.
Mushili clinic has a catchment of 4,562 people with an estimated 1004 women of child bearing age between the ages 15 and 49years.