13 Mar 2014 18:50pm
OKONGO, 13 MAR (NAMPA) - First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba says women and children, especially pregnant women, are at high risk of many health, social and economic atrocities.
Pohamba said this whilst officiating at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a maternity waiting home at Okongo settlement in the Ohangwena Region on Wednesday.
The First Lady noted that women and children are even the victims of preventable deaths such as maternal and child mortality, as well as gender-based violence.
Therefore, I would like to ask you to join me to loudly applaud the Government of the Republic of Namibia in general and the Ministry of Health and Social Services in particular, for putting Maternal and Child Health (MCH) at the top of the national agenda, Pohamba said.
She pointed out that the Okongo District is a vast district with scattered communities, adding that it has poor road infrastructure, long distances to health facilities, a lack of both private and public transport, and poor communication networks.
These are the main delays that prevent pregnant women from accessing health facilities and receiving professional care on time, Pohamba stated.
As the patron of the Maternal and Child Health National Agenda, Pohamba feels obliged to do something to contribute to Governments efforts in accelerating the reduction of maternal and child mortality, elimination of new HIV infections among babies, and the elimination of AIDS-related deaths.
The First Lady said she believes one of the effective interventions in maternal and child mortality is the construction of maternity waiting homes.
She then thanked the World Health Organisation (WHO) and European Union (EU) for allocating N.dollars 2 million for the construction of a maternity waiting home in the Okongo District.
It is because of their commitment and generous financial support that we are able to be here this morning, Pohamba noted.
According to the First Lady, Namibias development partners have already contributed to the establishment of similar maternity waiting homes in the Ohangwena Region, in the Engela and Eenhana Districts, and these are already benefiting many pregnant women and their babies.
The First Lady encouraged the community of Okongo settlement to own, maintain and ensure that the maternity waiting home to be built at the settlement will always be functional to the full benefit of all.
Community members of Okongo are said to have collected some N.dollars 6 952 for the construction of the maternity waiting home.
Yes, it has taken you some years to collect this amount of money, but it is a good gesture that you are prepared to do something to address your own needs, Pohamba stated.
The soon to be constructed Okongo maternity waiting home will be called the Josua Hanyango Pregnant Women Project.