Zambia: Simbao Bemoans High Death Rate of Women During Childbirth

THE number of women dying in childbirth in Zambia is unacceptably high, Health Minister Kapembwa Simbao has said.

Mr Simbao said in Lusaka yesterday that over half of the women who were pregnant, died from complications, a situation he described as worrisome and frustrating for the Government

"Currently, there are 591 deaths per 100, 000 live births. In other words, every four hours one woman dies dues to pregnancy complications, during and after childbirth," Mr Simbao said.

He said at the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) meeting that the Government had identified maternal deaths as one of the major challenges in the health sector.

Zambia is among the countries in the world with the highest numbers of women who die due to pregnancy complications, during and after childbirth.

However, Mr Simbao said the Government had put in a number of interventions. One of them was increasing the number of skilled health workers.

Government had introduced a training programme for midwives so that more nurses could be trained and recruited as midwives.

Mr Simbao said upgrading, rehabilitating and building new health facilities to meet the high demands of services was another intervention the Government had put in place.

In Zambia, he said CARMMA called for strengthening already existing partnerships and initiating new partnerships in order to scale up interventions and accelerate progress to reduce the death of women.

The minister said the aim of the Government was to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target of reducing maternal mortality ratio to 162 per 100, 000 live births by 2015.

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