The Copperbelt Province has recorded 88 maternal deaths in the last four months, Provincial Permanent Secretary, Augustine Kasongo, has disclosed.
Mr. Kasongo said this translates into a ratio of 128 per 100,000 live births hence the need to work extra hard to reduce this mortality ratio to less than 100 per 100,000 live births.
He said the government was working on interventions to ensure that the country trains, deploys and retains midwifery professionals to avert maternal deaths.
“The government believes that failure to invest in midwifery implies failure to address maternal and neonatal mortality,” he said.
Mr. Kasongo said the available global data indicates that a well-supported midwifery and family planning interventions can avert a total of 83 percent of all maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths.
Mr. Kasongo said the government is committed to addressing the challenges in the health service delivery hence it is employing over 11,000 health workers in the country.
He added that the government is also committed to ensuring that human rights in childbirth are respected to enable women to have access to maternal health.
Mr. Kasongo said this when he officiated at the Copperbelt Province commemoration of the international midwifery day in Luanshya yesterday.
The day was celebrated under the theme “100 years of progress”.
And Midwifery Association of Zambia Copperbelt Acting Chairperson, Major Mweemba, challenged midwives to take a lead in reducing maternal and neonatal deaths.
Mr. Mweemba observed that the statistic of 88 maternal deaths recorded in the province in the last four months was unacceptably high.
“That is too many as birthing is not an illness, not one woman should die during childbirth hence the need for midwives to take centre stage in this fight,” he said.
He further implored the government to increase the number of midwives in the recruitment of health workers to address the current deficit and avert maternal deaths.
He added that the deficit has compromised the quality of care and service delivery in maternal health.
Meanwhile, -Government is working on interventions that will ensure that the country trains, deploys and retains midwifery professionals, Copperbelt Province Permanent Secretary, Augustine Kasongo, has disclosed.
Mr. Kasongo said the government is alive to the ever increasing demand for midwifery services in the country hence the midwife/clients ratio should be improved.
He said not investing in midwifery implies failure to address maternal and neonatal mortality in the country.
Mr. Kasongo was speaking in Luanshya yesterday when he officiated at the commemoration of the international day of the midwife.
He disclosed that available data indicates that a well-supported midwifery can avert a total of 83 percent of maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths.
“As a province, we recorded 88 maternal deaths in the first quarter this year, translating into a ratio of 128/100,000 live births.
He pointed out that the government is strengthening the health system in order to address the current and future challenges by employing over 11,000 health workers countrywide.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kasongo has commended the Midwives Association of Zambia (MAZ) for their strong partnerships and for mobilising resources to train midwives in essential competences.
He has however challenged the Ministry of Health to ensure that no woman loses a life while giving birth.
He said newly born babies should also be given a healthy start.
This year’s midwives day was being commemorated under the theme “100 years of progress”.
And Midwives Association of Zambia (MAZ) Copperbelt Province Acting Chairperson, Major Mweemba, has appealed to the government to deploy more midwives to rural health facilities if the country is to reduce maternal mortality rates.
Mr. Mweemba noted that many midwives that are deployed to rural areas are burning out because they are overwhelmed due to the high number of clients.