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South minister calls for safe motherhood promotion

CHOMBA MUSIKA & DORIS KASOTE, Choma
SAFE motherhood should be paramount in the country as it cuts across political affiliations, says Southern Province minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu.
And First lady Esther Lungu has called on stakeholders to work with Government to ensure every woman enjoys safe motherhood.
Speaking at the launch of the safe motherhood week in Choma on Wednesday, Mr Mubukwanu appealed to political leaders to encourage their members to take part in commemorative activities across the country.
“I am calling on all stakeholders to come on board if our women have to enjoy safe motherhood in the country,” he said.
The event themed: “Dignity of a woman begins at the end of fistula”, saw women from all walks of life take part in activities to launch the annual national commemorative event.
And the First Lady said Government is implementing safe motherhood intervention services such as the recruitment of trained healthcare providers, provision of reproductive health services, and was also supporting awareness creation on safe motherhood.
Mrs Lungu said this in a speech read for her by wife of Minister of Works, Transport and Communication Yamfwa Mukanga, Elizabeth.
“Other strategies that Government has put in place are organising community level awareness campaigns to educate women about prevention methods during pregnancy and child birth,” she said.
The First Lady reminded families to play their role in the safe motherhood campaign by helping mothers to access healthcare services at the right time.
She said this year’s commemorative theme focuses on reviving women’s dignity by ending fistula, stating that it is important to prevent pregnancy and childbirth-related complications.
And UNFPA country representative Mary Otieno said the theme was not only timely but crucial especially that two million women in developing countries, including Zambia, live with obstetric fistula despite the condition being preventable.
In a speech read for her by UNFPA maternal health family planning technical specialist Dorothy Temu-usiri, Dr Otieno expressed concern that over 500 women in Zambia develop fistula every year.
Dr Otieno said UNFPA remains committed to sustainable partnership with the Government and other stakeholders to prevent fistula by ensuring that women have easy access to maternal healthcare services.
“UNFPA will continue to support the Government in conducting fistula camps which have currently resulted in surgical repairs of 1,846 fistula survivors between 2006 and 2014,” she said.


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