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Safe motherhood a right – Emerine Kabanshi

KABANSHI

SYLVESTER CHISHIMBA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT is committed to ensuring the right to safe motherhood is upheld.
Speaking during the launch of the ‘Urban mothers’ walk’ by Zambia Alliance for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health at East Park Mall yesterday, Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health Emerine Kabanshi said the right to safe motherhood is realised through providing women with quality family planning services and skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth.
“A woman dying due to pregnancy-related complications needs to be seen as an indictment on all of us for not having conducted ourselves well. Traditional leaders should also help discourage harmful traditional practices as well as condemn early marriages,”she said.
Ms Kabanshi said efforts to reduce maternal mortality have yielded results as evidenced from the demographic and health surveys over the last decade.
“We have seen some reductions in maternal and under-five mortality. The maternal mortality from 591 per 100,000 live births in 2007 to 398 per 100,000 live births in 2014.This improvement should be used as a launch pad from which we must accelerate further, and turning the tide of this grim reality is not a task for Government alone but all stakeholders,”she said.
Ms Kabanshi called on stakeholders to join Government in working towards ensuring that customs, policies and service delivery foster the well-being of the Zambian woman and child.
“I urge global partners and national stakeholders to support my Government in making sure that preventable maternal deaths are no more and build a Zambia where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth celebrated and every woman and child survive, thrive and reach their full potential,” she said.
MNCH Alliance chairperson Nanthalile Mugala said a lot needs to be done to address the challenges that rural mothers face in accessing maternal health services.
And Chieftainess Shimukunami appealed to Government to speed up the construction of the allocated health posts, especially in her chiefdom, to curb unsupervised deliveries.
“These issues have resulted in mothers delivering at their homes against the policy of Government which requires every woman to deliver at a health institution,” she said.

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