'Nation as a whole' will benefit from maternal mortality programme in Zambia

Praising an initiative undertaken by the Safe Motherhood Action Group (SMAG), the Zambian copperbelt minister Mwenya Musenge has said that the country's government is "determined" to combat maternal mortality, and that the initiative has benefited "the nation as a whole".

SMAG raised funds and donated equipment worth approximately 80 million Zambian Kwatcha for the town of Luanshya.

Speaking to the Zambia Daily Mail, Mr Musenge said that the country had already seen positive developments regarding maternal, prenatal and neonatal health.

In 2010, Zambia saw 599 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, but the figure is thought to be improving. Last year, Mr Musenge added, 3,975 "less complicated" births in Luanshya had taken place in institutions - an increase on previous years.

He said that the efforts of organisations like SMAG "will go a long way in contributing towards Zambia’s attainment of Millennium Development Goals number five and six".

For instance, the Zambia Integrated System Strengthening Programme has already helped to train 79 community volunteers to assist with maternal healthcare in Luanshya.

Posted by Alexandra GeorgeADNFCR-2094-ID-801574609-ADNFCR

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