Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

Namibia: Spain Helps Fight Maternal and Child Mortality

Spain has donated N$18 million as a part of a project that will see the construction of a maternity ward at the Opuwo State Hospital. Part of the money has already been used to purchase three ambulances that will be used in the area.

At a ground breaking ceremony held earlier this week in Opowu, the Spanish Ambassador to Namibia Carmen Díez handed over the three ambulances to the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi.

The event was organised within the framework of the project "Integrated support to the Kunene Regional health system for the improvement of safe motherhood and new born care" funded by the Spanish Cooperation to the total amount of around N$18 million.

The main objective of the project is to support the implementation of the Ministry of Health and Social Services Roadmap for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Newborn Morbidity and Mortality by means of strengthening the Kunene Regional Health System.

Some of the activities already implemented under the project have been the training on Emergency Obstetric Care to doctors, nurses and midwives, and the purchase of a minibus to the Faculty of Medical Science at the University of Namibia.

The construction of the maternity ward at the Opuwo State Hospital is the project's main activity and is a key factor for the reduction of maternal and child mortality.

The Spanish Government has been a major benefactor of the local health sector since 2003, mostly focusing on strengthening the regional programmes in the Erongo and Kunene Regions in the fight against HIV/AIDS, in collaboration with the Spanish NGO "Médicos del Mundo" ("Doctors of the World"). Spain is also a major contributor to multilateral agencies and has been one of the largest donors of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

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