Zambia, 11 June 2010: Launch of campaign on accelerated reduction of maternal mortality
LUSAKA, Zambia, 11 June 2010 – The Ministry of Health and its partners including UNICEF are planning to conduct a vigorous campaign to intensify already existing efforts and strategies to prevent maternal deaths in Zambia, part of a launch that is scheduled to take place tomorrow, 12 June 2010 of the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA).
The Zambian Republican President, His Excellency Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda, is expected to launch the Zambian version of CARMMA at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.
CARMMA was originally launched during the Africa Union Conference held in May 2009 in Ethiopia under the theme “Universal Access to Quality Services: Improve Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health.” The launch of this campaign was in response to the slow progress attained so far in reducing maternal, neonatal and child mortality rates in many African countries.
The Maternal Mortality ratio (MMR) for Zambia stands at 591 per 100,000 live births and this translates into 8 women dying per day due to complications arising from pregnancy and child birth. On the other hand the Newborn Mortality Rate (NMR) is 34 per 1000 live births and this translates into 48 newborns dying per day due to complications at delivery, prematurity and infections.
According to UNICEF Country Representative, Lotta Sylwander, “Through this campaign, we as UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Health as well as other partners hope to re-dedicate our commitment in accelerating interventions to attain Zambia's vision of a healthier Zambia as reflected in the fifth National Development Plan, and National Health Strategic Plan. UNICEF will continue to support the Government's efforts to reduce maternal deaths.”
The Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Peter Mwaba is optimistic that the high number of women dying from pregnancy related complications can be reduced with concerted efforts.
“We have recorded a decrease in maternal mortality from 729 to 591 per 100,000 live births but there is need to strengthen and initiate new partnerships if the country is to accelerate action and meet MDG’s 4 and 5 targets for reducing child mortality and improving maternal health respectively,” Dr. Mwaba stressed.
A number of activities have been planned as part of CARMMA campaign under the slogan: “No woman should die while giving life.” These activities include:
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
For more information, please contact:
Patrick Slavin, Chief, Communications, UNICEF Zambia
Precious Mumbi Habeenzu, Senior Communications Assistant, UNICEF Zambia
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