UNICEF provides maternal and newborn health equipment to the Government of the Republic of Zambia

12 September 2022
With the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, UNICEF provided health equipment to the Ministry of Health with a total value of more than USD 64,000.
UNICEF/2022/Zambia/Kawanu
With the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, UNICEF provided health equipment to the Ministry of Health with a total value of more than USD 64,000.

LUSAKA, Zambia, 12 September 2022 – UNICEF, in partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), today officially handed over maternal and newborn health equipment with a total value of USD 64,184 to the Women and Newborn Teaching Hospital at a ceremony with the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Prof. Lackson Kasonka.  Once fully operational, the equipment for emergency obstetric theatre, which includes an operation theatre table, patient monitors, anaesthesia machine and newborn resuscitaire among others, will reduce the waiting time for C-sections and emergency obstetric procedures.

“The Government of Zambia is grateful for the support from Sida and UNICEF” said Prof. Lackson Kasonka “this is very timely as it addresses one of the critical equipment gaps for emergency obstetric care at the Women and Newborn Hospital that was identified as a high priority area to be addressed for improving maternal and newborn survival,”

Under the partnership with Sweden, UNICEF is supporting improved coverage and quality of perinatal and essential newborn care, including procurement of medical equipment and training of doctors and nurses to strengthen essential newborn care services.  The partnership will also establish centres of excellence for essential newborn care across seven hospitals in Lusaka, Eastern, Southern and Luapula provinces of Zambia. This will boost the quality of essential newborn care services to an estimated 4,000 newborn babies in the seven hospitals.

“Maternal and newborn health is a key priority for Sweden and it makes us very proud to know that our contribution will help save the lives of many mothers and children in Zambia. Our commitment to improve the lives of those in need in this country is firm and we hope that this contribution including the equipment, the training and the creation of centres of excellence will make a difference,” stated the Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden, Susanna Hughes.

UNICEF is working closely with the Ministry of Health’s Women and Newborn Unit team at the University Teaching Hospital to set up a Centre of Excellence. The current support for the obstetric theatre equipment is co-funded by UNICEF using its core resources while Sweden funded support for newborn care equipment.

“Sweden have stepped in to support the Ministry of Health in strengthening essential newborn care services and we are extremely grateful for that. It shows a remarkable commitment towards improving children’s lives,” said UNICEF Representative, Penelope Campbell. “While we have seen progress in reducing infant and under-five deaths, sadly neonatal mortality showed an increase in the last Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) from 24 per 1,000 live births in 2013-14 to 27 in 2018. That works out an estimated 17,000 newborns dying each year in Zambia. This contribution will be crucial to reduce preventable maternal and newborn deaths, as well as still births.”

The programme through the Ministry of Health, Sweden and UNICEF partnership has simultaneously addressed both the humanitarian needs of a Public Health Emergency response for COVID-19 and the development efforts of sustaining the continuity of routine essential health services, including focusing on health system strengthening and systems resilience support.

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About the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, is Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation. Sida strive to reduce world poverty by allocating resources and knowledge with the goal of making a difference for people in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. Sida work with actors from civil society and universities as well as the public and private sector to contribute to sustainable development globally. 

For more information about Sweden in Zambia, visit www.swedenabroad.se/lusaka  

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For more information, please contact:

Maria Fernandez, Chief, Communication, UNICEF Zambia, mfernandez@unicef.org

Antonia Grönvall, Program Officer, Communication, Embassy of Sweden, +260 971 11 81 00, Antonia.gronvall@gov.se

Media contacts

Maria Fernandez
Chief of Communication, Advocacy, Partnerships and Engagement
UNICEF
Tel: +260 977 300 636

About UNICEF

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.

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