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Zambia committed to cutting teenage pregnancies

BENEDICT TEMBO, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has committed itself to strengthening access to adolescent sexual and reproductive services by prioritising reduction of teenage pregnancies and ending child marriage by 2030.
Government has also pledged to eliminate unmet need for family planning and elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Re-affirming Government’s unwavering commitment to continuing with the Global Strategy, Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde also assured availability of bundled medicines and cold chain equipment as well as implementing equity focused immunization programme reaching every child by 2030.
Closing the Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Child Health board meeting in Lusaka on Wednesday, Dr Kasonde said the country will scale-up nutrition sensitive and nutrition specific interventions, including the 1000 days’ strategy to reduce stunting by 2030.
The minister said Zambia will strengthen human resource for health capacity to meet the country’s demand for equitable and sustained skilled birth attendance as well as fostering community participation, including a sustainable community health worker and community health assistant programme to take the services to the last mile.
Dr Kasonde said Government will ensure an increased allocation of the health sector budget towards reproductive maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health.
He said looking back, the world can be proud about what has been achieved for women, children and adolescents.
“While patting ourselves for reduction in maternal mortality, we should remain mindful that the ratio at 398 100,000 live births is still very high. Our mothers still continue dying needless deaths. This is even more depressing when we recognize low cost technologies for addressing this state of affairs are available,” Dr Kasonde said.
He said the world stands on a critical threshold today for global health and development.
“A quarter a century ago, more than half a million women worldwide died annually due to childbirth, and more than 12 million children perished before the age of five, mainly from preventable cause. Today, with the Millenium Development Goals – and thanks to the collective efforts of so many – these have been nearly cut in half,” Dr Kasonde said.



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