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Zambia, 15 March 2017: MDGi hands over refurbished Butondo Urban health facility to Ministry of Health

MUFULIRA, Zambia, 15 March 2017 – The European-Union funded Millennium Development Goal Initiative (MDGi) today handed over a refurbished and equipped maternal and child health wing at Butondo Urban Health Facility to the Ministry of Health, 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, medical equipment and supplies including training and operational support totals more than 3,859,006 million kwacha (US$401,788).

“Refurbishment of facilities such as Butondo Urban which previously faced inadequate space to offer Reproductive Health, Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition (RMNCH-N) Services including deliveries, have come at such an opportune time. We continue to be thankful to our partners at the European Union and the United Nations for working with my ministry to address these challenges through the construction of the Out–Patient Department (OPD), Maternity and Maternal and Child Health (MCH) wings, said the Hon. Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, MP as he officiated at the handover.

“It is worth noting that Zambia has made impressive improvements in maternal and child health over the past decade but still fell short of meeting its MDG’s 1c, 4 and 5 as at December 2015. I am happy to share that 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 Hon. Chilufya. “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,” he added.

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) and the UN Population Agency (UNFPA) with geographic coverage including: Ndola, Luanshya, Kitwe, Mufulira, Chingola and Masaiti districts in Copperbelt province and Lusaka, Kafue, Chilanga, Chongwe, and Rufunsa districts in Lusaka province. UNICEF is responsible for managing the funds from the EU. Butondo Urban Health Centre has received support from MDGi programme since 2015 to date.

The MDGi programme in Zambia carries out a wide variety of activities to strengthen the Zambian health system and improve the overall health and nutrition of mothers and children. It is based on current and quality data, which identifies the most appropriate and effective strategies to accelerate the reduction of maternal and child mortality. The programme is also contextualized specifically to the districts and provinces within which the programme operates and has been developed to build on the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Zambia in this light.

UNICEF Zambia Country Representative, Dr. Hamid El-Bashir Ibrahim, highly commended the community involvement of MDGi and thanked the Mufulira community and the medical staff for their support of the programme and commitment for providing quality care for the community.

“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 (iCCM) volunteers, Community-based Distributors and Peer Educators in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces and we are very grateful to the EU for their appreciated funding and leadership,” said Dr. El-Bashir. “With such innovative support, Zambia’s future is guaranteed to achieve even more.”

MDGi’s support to Butondo Urban Health Center included the construction of 4-bed maternity; OPD; new standard MCH and ablution block which shall greatly improve the work environment for health care workers (HCWs) and patients. Prior to this, the facility was not undertaking deliveries and it could not operate 24hours. With this support from MDGi, the facility will be operating 24 hours as a delivery facility. The facility has also been furnished with a full complement of equipment such as hospital beds, delivery and gynecological couches, as well as assorted utility items such as medicine cabinets, drug trolleys and much more. The full set of equipment has rendered the new maternity and MCH wing a state of the art facility with the capacity to provide comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) services. The value of MDGi supplies and equipment provided to the clinic totaled US$35,474 (337,000 kwacha) while the cost of the refurbishment was US$356,737 (3,430,006 kwacha). While training and operational support provided to the clinic was US$9,577 (92,000 kwacha).

MDGi is a programme that is being implemented over a five-year period (2013-2018) with five expected results areas:

  1. A package of high impact nutrition services, aligned to the national strategy, is available and used by the most vulnerable children and women.
  2. Increased availability of a continuum of maternal, neonatal and child health services of good quality.
  3. Increased knowledge, demand for services and cultural and geographic access to maternal, neonatal and child health care services.
  4. Improved coverage and accessibility of adolescent and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive services.
  5. The capacity for planning, implementation and coordination of the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders at national, provincial and districts levels is improved.


For further information, please contact:

Dr. Kennedy Malama, Spokesperson, Ministry of Health, mobile: +260/978320636,;

Precious M. Habeenzu, Communications Officer, UNICEF Zambia, mobile: +260/97698895,; or

Namambo Delot, Press Officer, European Union Delegation, mobile: +260/977774603,



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