Film depicts hardships of child birth in remote areas

19 Mar 2015 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 19 MARCH (NAMPA) - A full documentary film, 'Hope for the Future - saving the Lives of Namibian Mothers and Infants', was launched in the capital on Tuesday.
The film tells the story of the hardships many expecting mothers, especially in rural and remote areas face.
The story is set in the most remote northern areas of Namibia and show how expectant mothers often had to walk for miles or even travel with donkey carts to clinics.
Once they arrive there, they are often forced to stay in make-shift shelters without any sanitation.
The documentary reflects the hardships mothers in places like Okongo and Eenhana in the Ohangwena Region and Opuwo in the Kunene Region are faed with daily.
Such hardships motivated the First Lady, Penehupifo Pohamba to embark on the Programme for Acceleration the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality in Namibia ( PARMaCM ).
The project aims to improve the situation by building shelters, clinics and engage the women in handcraft to teach them new skills.
The First Lady, in a statement delivered by her Director and Technical Advisor, Erastus Nekuta,
at the event said the maternity waiting homes are a proven strategy by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help reduce mother and new born morbidity and mortality in rural settings.
Pohamba noted that the maternity waiting home should not solely be the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Social Services but indeed everyone’s.
'Let us all join hands to mobilise the community to use these homes in order to deliver in the hospital where they can be assisted by skilled personnel before and during delivery,' she said.
Dr. Monir Islam, country representative of the WHO said capacity building and training of health workers is one of the cornerstones of the Programme.
'To date, PARMaCM has contributed towards the strengthening of the capacity of health providers through the training of 400 Health Extension Workers from Omusati, Ohangwena, Karas and Zambezi Regions,' Islam said.
Islam added that through the training of 70 health providers in Life Saving Skills, the training of 136 health providers from 10 regions in Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness (IMNCI) and national training on the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk substitutes amongst others contributed to the capacity building of the programme.
The four-year programme is funded by the European Union with an amount of 10 million Euro ( an estimated N.Dollar 140 million).
The documentary will also be used to expose programme's success stories to other countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), while the sponsors (EU) will also get the film screened on international broadcasting platforms like Al-Jazeera.
The whole EU funded project is a joint venture between the WHO, Ministry of Health and Social Services and the office of the First Lady Penhupifo Pohamba, who is the Patron of the Maternal and Child Health National Agenda.