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NGO commends govt on child health

NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
The Zambia Alliance for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (ZMNCH) has commended Government and other stakeholders for recent efforts to prioritise maternal, newborn and child health.
The ZMNCH said Zambia like many other countries in Africa, has a high mortality rate of 24 out of every 1,000 newborns that die within their first 28 days of life, according to the latest Zambia Demographical Health Survey.
This is according to a statement issued by the ZMNCH recently.
“This proportion is increasing because as the overall child mortality rate decreases, newborn deaths and still births remain high and are reducing at slower rate than overall under-five deaths,” the statement reads.
It states that ZMNCH strongly feels that now is the time for Government and the health community in Zambia to prioritise newborn health.
“Given the availability of feasible, cost effective and evidence-based solutions to protect and save new-born infants and their mothers, ZMNCH believes these numbers are unacceptable,” the statement reads in part.
It further states that although Government and stakeholders have made several policy and planning efforts to prioritise newborn and child health in the context of the millennium development goals (MDG), newborn survival and health as well as prevention of still births are still not specifically addressed in the national planning framework.
The statement reads that the alliance believes that more babies and women can be saved each year through investing in high quality care around the time of birth and special care for the sick and low birth newborns.
“The alliance further believes that improving newborn health and preventing still births are part of the agenda of the MDGs [number] four and five,” the statement further reads in part.
The alliance has since called on stakeholders to support Government in ensuring that there are no still births and ensuring that babies survive and reach their full potential.



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