19 February 2018

Namibia: Maternity Waiting Home in Honour of Angelika Muharukua

Windhoek — The Ministry of Health and Social Services, the World Health Organisation and the European Union will tomorrow launch the Angelika Kazetjindire Muharukua maternity waiting home at Opuwo.

The home is named after the late governor of the Kunene region, Angelika Kazetjindire Muharukua, who died in October last year.

The European Union, through the Programme for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PARMaCM) has supported the government in funding the construction of the Opuwo maternity waiting home.

The total funding of PARMaCM amounted to €10 million (about N$155 million).

Part of this money was for procurement and distribution of medical equipment, while N$8.5 million was for the construction of the home and N$14.6 million for the purchase of nine ambulances and six utility vehicles.

PARMaCM ended in February last year. However, it was decided to extend the programme to incorporate the maternity waiting home component, which will allow expectant mothers to move closer to the Opuwo health district hospital to get professional care, ensuring safe delivery for mothers.

The Kunene region has the lowest proportion of pregnant women delivering in health facilities, according to the Demographic and Health Survey of 2013.

"This region is presented with unique and compounding challenges that make access to healthcare impossible for some rural communities," according to a press release by the Ministry of Health and Social Services, WHO and the European Union.

The challenges include extreme levels of poverty, long distances to healthcare facilities and low health-seeking behaviours. "This has resulted in low performance in maternal and child health indicators," according to the press release.

In addition, Opuwo has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and the lowest deliveries at facilities.

PARMaCM is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the European Union and the World Health Organization. It was implemented by the Ministry of Health hand Social Services with support from the World Health Organization. Funding was provided by the European Union.

Funding in the amount of 10 million Euros was provided by the European Union. PARMaCM aimed at complementing the programmes of the health ministry in order to accelerate the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals.

PARMaCM was primarily implemented in the health districts of Okongo, Outapi, Opuwo, Katima Mulilo, Gobabis and Keetmanshoop. However, it supported around 18 health districts, especially with the implementation of the maternal and child health weeks and provision of medical equipment, according to the press

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