Maternal and child mortality remain high in Namibia: Sioka

09 Mar 2018 14:50pm
REHOBOTH, 09 MAR (NAMPA) – Maternal and infant mortality remain high in Namibia due to the lack of access to antenatal care and late deliveries experienced by pregnant women.
This was said by Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Doreen Sioka, in a speech read on her behalf during the International Women’s Day commemoration in Rehoboth on Thursday.
“The establishment of maternal waiting shelters is an attempt to address maternal mortality. Health interventions are best provided through an integral health system at the district level, based on the primary healthcare approach and universal health coverage,” Sioka said.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), the maternal mortality rate in Namibia has almost doubled since 2000 and is now 200 deaths per 100 000 live births. Neonatal mortality is also high with 19 deaths per 1 000 live births.
HIV/Aids is implicated in 59 per cent of maternal deaths and 14 per cent of infant deaths.
The underlying causes of maternal and neonatal deaths according to Unicef, are varied and include the lack of skilled personnel as well as the long distances and delays in seeking healthcare. Immediate causes for neonatal deaths are preterm (39 per cent), birth asphyxia (25 per cent) and infection in newborn (29 per cent).
Addressing the challenges requires involvement of all stakeholders including traditional authorities, the private sector and individuals, Sioka said.
“Therefore, let us actively promote and maintain the welfare of the men and women in Namibia,” she concluded.