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Zambia, 17 May 2016: MDGi hands over refurbished Copperbelt health facilities to Ministry of Health

The Government of the Republic of Zambia, the European Union, and the United Nations

© UNICEF Zambia/2016/Maseko
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Peter Mwaba and Ambassador of the European Union to Zambia and COMESA, H.E. Alessandro Mariani, cut a ribbon to commission a new maternity ward at Chilanga Health Centre.

NDOLA, Zambia, 17 May 2016 – The European-Union funded Millennium Development Goal Initiative (MDGi) prepared to hand over to the Ministry of Health today refurbished and equipped maternal and child health wings at three Copperbelt Province health centres, making an immediate difference to the community’s ability to provide quality health care to its most vulnerable citizens – babies and their mothers. The cost of the refurbishment and medical supplies totals more than 4.6 million kwacha (US$484,210).

“We are extremely thankful to our partners at the European Union and the United Nations for working with my ministry to partially refurbish and equip 52 health facilities in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces, where 30 per cent of our people live,” said Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Peter Mwaba. “This programme is making significant progress and I am pleased to officiate at the first ribbon cuttings of MDGi completed health facilities in the Copperbelt.

“Under-five mortality has dropped in Zambia by 61 per cent and infant mortality by 58 per cent between 1992 and 2013-14 and these achievements have been made as a result of key public health interventions implemented by the Government of Zambia,” said Dr. Mwaba. “But progress on reducing maternal mortality has not kept pace and our country still has an unacceptably high maternal mortality rate of 398 per 100,000 live births. This is the strategic motivation behind MDGi – to lower maternal mortality rates through improved health services, nutrition, community involvement, youth friendly health services, and strengthening of the national health systems.”

MDGi aims at accelerating the reduction of maternal, neonatal and child mortality in Zambia. The programme is funded by the European Union (EU) with an amount of Euro 48.6 Million Euro (533.5 million kwacha) and implemented by the Ministry of Health with technical support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Agency (UNFPA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). UNICEF is responsible for managing the funds from the EU.

The Ambassador of the European Union to Zambia and COMESA, H.E. Alessandro Mariani, said, “The MDGi programme in Zambia is designed to provide a proven cost-effective high-impact package of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition services to mothers, adolescents, babies and children. This will be combined with encouraging the public to demand for quality services. We believe that this will result in higher use of services of better quality and it will ultimately save lives of children and women. The programme has been developed to build on the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Zambia to strengthen the health system in order to improve overall health and nutrition situation for women and children. We are extremely grateful to the taxpayers of the European Union for making this critically important programme possible.”

UNICEF Zambia Representative Dr. Hamid El-Bashir Ibrahim praised the community involvement of MDGi and thanked the Zambian people for their support of the programme.

“By 2018, MDGi will have helped build the capacity of thousands of Neighborhood Health Committees comprising members of Safe Motherhood Action Groups, Infant Young Child Feeding community based volunteers, Integrated Community Case Management volunteers, Community-based Distributors and Peer Educators in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces and we are extremely grateful to the EU for their appreciated funding and leadership,” said Dr. El-Bashir. “This is the true grassroots, people helping people, and we honour the community spirit of these volunteers. Zambia’s future is indeed quite bright.”

© UNICEF Zambia/2016/Maseko
Community volunteers who encourage people to access health services from the clinic.

MDGi’s support to the three Copperbelt Province health centres -- Mahatma Gandhi Health Centre in Ndola, Mpatamatu Section 26 Clinic Health Centre in Luanshya, and Kashitu Rural Health Centre – includes repairs to building infrastructure; supplies such as neonate incubators; neonate resuscitation tables; mid-wife and obstetric instrument sets; delivery beds complete with examination lights, foot stools, and infusion stands; standard hospital beds with bed-side cabinets; emergency trolleys and medicine cabinets; examination tables; nebulizer machines; and tents for out-reach services. The value of MDGi supplies provided to the clinics totaled US$270,513 (2.569 million kwacha) while the total cost of the refurbishment was nearly US$217,000 (2.056 million kwacha).

MDGi is a programme that is being implemented over a five-year period between 2013-2018. Its five expected results areas are:

  • Improving nutrition outcomes;
  • Improving reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services;
  • Engaging communities for improving knowledge, behaviour and practices on healthy and health-seeking behaviour and access to services;
  • Promoting adolescent sexual and reproductive health; and · Health systems strengthening, including institutional capacity building and support to the health management information system (HMIS).

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For further information, please contact Dr. Reuben Mbewe, Spokesperson, Ministry of Health, mobile: +260/977823380, rmkamoto@hotmail.com; Patrick Slavin, Chief, Communications, UNICEF Zambia, mobile: +260/977770616, pslavin@unicef.org; or Namambo Delot, Press Officer, European Union Delegation, mobile: +260/977774603, Namambo.DELOT@eeas.europa.eu.

 

 
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