25 Feb 2018 17:40pm
GOBABIS, 25 FEB (NAMPA) The Lady Pohamba Maternity Waiting Home in Gobabis in the Omaheke Region was on Friday inaugurated.
The waiting home, named after former First Lady, Penehupifo Pohamba, was funded through the Programme for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PARMaCM).
The programme is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), the European Union (EU) and World Health Organisation (WHO).
The centre is expected to ease the burden would-be mothers encounter, as many travel vast distances to access health facilities to deliver their babies.
Such expecting mothers will now be accommodated at this centre.
Launching the centre, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the MoHSS, Bertha Katjivena called on all sectors of the country to join the ministry in advancing health services to all citizens of the country.
Katjivena noted that such responsibility cannot be left on the shoulders of the ministry alone, as everyone can play a part.
She said the ministry has a zero tolerance for maternal deaths and will as such do all in its power to avoid such deaths from occurring.
One death of a mother during maternity or labour is one death too many. We will do all possible to avoid such scenario and this centre is testimony to such efforts, she said.
The EUs Raniero Leto, speaking at the same event, said Namibia has demonstrated good progress in bringing health services to its citizens, which has benefited many especially pregnant mothers.
Leto said the EU saw it fit to join the country in its drive to prevent maternal mortality, by financially supporting the construction of maternity waiting homes across the country.
The EU is very pleased to have partnered with the MoHSS and WHO to accelerate the reduction of maternal and child mortality in Namibia, he said.
Omaheke Regional Governor, Festus Ueitele applauded the health ministry for its efforts to fight maternal mortality in the country.
Ueitele said the ministrys efforts touch many lives, especially in the Omaheke Region where distances to health centres are vast.
We are happy and are grateful to those who have worked behind the scenes to make the centre a reality. We can sleep better at night now, knowing our loved ones are well taken care of at this centre, he noted.
PARMaCM was launched in February 2013, the same year that the construction of the centre commenced, and has a total budget of about N$132 million.
According to recent PARMaCM statistics, Namibias infant mortality rate currently stands at 39 deaths per 1 000 births.
The countrys maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is currently estimated at 130 deaths per 100 000 live births, while 18 per cent of pregnant women attending the countrys antenatal clinics are living with HIV.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reports that impressive progress in maternal health has been achieved in Eastern and Southern Africa, but that the region still sees far too many maternal deaths and ill-health related to pregnancy and childbirth, and far too many young people who cannot access contraceptives.
The region has the worlds second worst rate of maternal mortality at 455 deaths per 100 000 live births.