COPPERBELT, Zambia, 13 November 2018 – The Ministry of Health in Zambia today led a high-level delegation from the European Union and the United Nations to witness receipt of the newly constructed mothers’ shelter and maternity block and a refurbished health centre at Muchinshi in Chingola District. This is part of the 49.5 Million Euro (582 million Kwacha), European-Union funded Millennium Development Goal initiative (MDGi).
The refurbishment of Muchinshi rural health centre, construction of the new maternity wing, and equipping of the facility started on 7 September 2016 and ended on 28 February 2018 at a cost of k 3,638,012 (USD 437,844).
“Today we are all witnessing the handover of this refurbished and extended facility which is one of 52 beneficiary facilities that have been completed between 2016 and 2018 in Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces under this European Union support,” said Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, MP, Minister of Health, in a speech read on his behalf during the handover ceremony by Dr. Andrew Silumesii, Director of Public Health.
MDGi aims at accelerating the reduction of maternal, neonatal and child mortality in Zambia. The programme is implemented by the Ministry of Health with technical support of UNICEF and the United Nations Population Agency (UNFPA) with geographic coverage including: Ndola, Luanshya, Kitwe, Mufulira, Chingola and Masaiti districts in Copperbelt province and Kafue, Chilanga, Chongwe, and Rufunsa and Lusaka districts in Lusaka province. UNICEF is responsible for managing the funds from the European Union.
The European Union Team Leader Social Sector and Governance, Ms. Elisabeth Loacker said, “I am pleased to hand-over to you today on behalf of the European Union the maternity wing and waiting house and all equipment procured with funding from the European Union’s MDGi programme. I am sure that with you, they are in good hands and that it will assist the Zambian government to accelerate the reduction of maternal and child mortality. We are also counting on the government to maintain this facility and its equipment in the excellent state it has today.”
And UNICEF Zambia Representative OIC, Mr. Shadrack Omol, further commended the government for its leadership and commitment to this partnership. “This upgraded health centre will provide new maternity and child health facilities with 24-hour care to more than 15,000 people in this catchment area including over 3,700 women of child bearing age and just looking at the facility being inaugurated today, I believe we can be proud of what the partnership between the Government of the Republic of Zambia, the European Union and the United Nations has achieved.”
With over 600 expected deliveries per year, MDGi’s support to Muchinshi Health Centre includes: a six-bed capacity in the pre-natal ward; four-bed capacity in the labour ward; four-bed capacity in the postnatal ward; a constructed parent lodging facility complete with modern ablution as well as a cooking shelter; water, sanitation and hygiene related infrastructure including a chlorine production facility, toilet renovations, an incinerator and a placenta pit.
The facility has also been furnished with equipment to contribute towards accelerated reduction of maternal and newborn mortality. These include hospital furniture - twelve hospital beds, eight delivery beds, one stretcher, one drug trolley, one-wheel chair and one drip stand. Medical equipment for labour and delivery services include one suction machine, one sterilizer, and one oxygen concentrator including a full range of midwifery instrument sets. Drugs and iv fluids have also been provided. The full set of equipment has rendered the new maternity wing a state-of-the art facility with the capacity to provide all seven ‘signal’ functions required of a basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (emonc) centre.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Zambia, visit www.unicef.org/zambia.