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Kalomo district records reduced maternal deaths

By SHIKANDA SILUNGWE in Livingstone
KALOMO district has reduced maternal deaths from 10 last year to three this year, District Medical Officer Dr Kenneth Chibwe has disclosed.
Speaking in an interview in Livingstone, Dr Chibwe said only three deaths were recorded in Kalomo but the district was working towards reducing them further.
He said health institutions in the district put up different interventions to fight maternal deaths by collaborating with a variety of stakeholders.
Dr Chibwe said Kalomo medical centre managed to reduce maternal deaths because of the “Saving mothers giving lives project” which was introduced in the district in 2012.
He said the project has helped in imparting maternal knowledge in mid wives and mothers, thereby reducing the deaths.
“It is my hope that the district will completely wipe out maternal deaths because we are still sensitising mothers on how to avoid maternal deaths,” He said.
Dr Chibwe said the district has also created Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAGs) that are in all communities to give pregnant women information about  the prevention of maternal deaths.
He revealed that Kalomo had high rates of maternal mortality which led to the creation of SMAGs and various other interventions.
Dr Chibwe said SMAGs were equipped with safe motherhood skills that included detecting danger signs in pregnancy so that they can also teach pregnant women and mothers in the communities they came from.
“SMAGs also teach the dangers of delivering at home because in rural areas many mothers usually deliver in homes thereby causing maternal deaths,” he said.
Dr Chibwe said pregnant women who live far from medical centres were encouraged to shift to mothers’ shelters at health institutions until they delivered.
He said the other interventions put in place was re-engagement of retired nurses at rural health institutions to help boost the workforce.
“We were trained by the American Embassy on the creation of SMAGs and we were also empowered with some kits to help eradicate maternal deaths,” he said
He said it was possible to eradicate maternal deaths by continued campaigns and collaborating with other stakeholders.

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