09 Feb 2014 17:40pm
OPUWO, 09 FEB (NAMPA) A new maternity ward was inaugurated at the Opuwo State Hospital on Thursday.
The ward has a capacity of 20 beds, and was constructed with N.dollars 20 million funded by the Spanish government.
Speaking at the occasion, Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi thanked the government of Spain.
He said tax payers in Spain would be very happy to hear that the facility they have helped put up will contribute in the reduction of the maternal mortality rate in Namibia.
No woman should die while giving birth in Namibia at all, and no single child should die of preventable diseases in Namibia, said Kamwi.
He added that the maternal mortality rate was very high in 2006 when it was at 449 mother deaths per every 100 000 live births.
That status has improved in the first quarter of 2013 when the figure changed to 68 mother deaths per 100 000 births, but again picked up to 90 mothers per 100 000 births in the last quarter.
This was due to expecting mothers from Angola who come to Namibian health facilities sometimes very late with delivery complications, noted Kamwi.
The minister said the responsibility of health is not the single obligation of the Ministry of Health, but requires support from all stakeholders if the Millennium Development Goals are to be reached.
I am calling upon health professionals who are going to work in this facility to do their best and act professionally, said Kamwi.
Speaking at the same occasion, the Spanish Ambassador to Namibia, María del Carmen Díez Orejas expressed delight at the realisation of the modern maternity ward.
She said the new ward was part of a project titled Integrated support to the Kunene Regional health system for the improvement of safe motherhood and new born care.
The main objective of the project was to support the implementation of the Ministry of Health and Social Services roadmap for accelerating the reduction of the maternal and new born morbidity and mortality by means of strengthening the Kunene regional health system for the improvement of safe motherhood and new born care, noted the Spanish diplomat.
Other activities which have been implemented under this project include training of doctors, nurses and midwives in emergency obstetric care through the reinforcement of the regional health training centre in Otjiwarongo; the purchase of a minibus for the Faculty of Medical Science at the University of Namibia; and the purchase of three ambulances for the Kunene Region.
On his part, Kunene regional governor, Josua //Hoebeb called on the community of his region to use the facility responsibly.
By Thursday, four women have given birth in the new maternity ward. Uerihinga Tjiuma was the first woman to deliver her baby girl in that facility.