12 Aug 2014 12:30pm
WINDHOEK, 12 AUG (NAMPA) The European Union (EU), in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), on Monday donated nine ambulances to help accelerate the reduction of maternal and child mortality in six districts in Namibia.
Nine Toyota Land Cruisers which were converted into ambulances worth a collective N.dollars 9, 5 million will be sent to six Programme for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PARMaCM) districts, Health and Social Services Minister Dr Richard Kamwi said during the handing-over ceremony.
These PARMaCM districts are Opuwo in the Kunene Region; Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region; Okongo in the Ohangwena Region; Outapi in the Omusati Region; Gobabis in Omaheke; and Keetmanshoop in the //Karas Region.
The minister said these vehicles are specifically- designated to improve access to quality Emergency Obstetric and Neo-natal Care (EmONC) services.
We know that one of our biggest problems due to the geographic nature of our country is access to healthcare.
The distances are long, the referral to the next hospital in case of emergency may be complicated, and our mothers in need often encounter fatal delays in receiving healthcare on time, he explained.
On his part, the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegations Economic and Social Section, Markus Theobald said these ambulances will contribute to a reduction in delays in getting health services on time.
He said significant steps have been taken in the first year of the implementation of the four-year PARMaCM.
We are now in the second half of the second year. Health workers, managers and staff of the Ministry of Health and Social Services and ambulance drivers were trained on various topics in the areas of maternal and child health, he stated.
Theobald noted that two maternal and child health weeks (training) have also been conducted in 18 district hospitals in seven regions in the country.
PARMaCM is funded by the EU at a cost of N.dollars 100 million in order to accelerate the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Four and Five, which are the reduction of child mortality and improving maternal health in Namibia.