Zambia is severely off track to meet the 2015 Millenium Development Goal on maternal mortality target of 185 per 100,000 live births.
The governemnt of the United Kingdom has come to the aid of its former colony by purchasing K32 billion (£4.27m) worth of Emergency Obstetric Care equipment to help address the high rate of maternal mortality in Zambia.
The equipment includes items like beds, operating tables and infant incubators and will be distributed to a number of hospitals across the country. It will help to ensure that more mothers are able to deliver safely in health facilities, and by 2012 it is expected that 86 government facilities will be able to provide emergency obstetric care to one third of Zambia’s population.
Mike Hammond, Head of DFID’s office in Zambia is expected to handover the equipment to the Zambia government through Ministry of Health Thursday March 17, 2011.
Zambia´´s ministry of health officials are notorious for stealing donor money and maybe that is why DFID preferd to pruchase equipment instead of giving cash to the ministry which has all but being blacklisted from the global fund.
The findings of the 2007 Demographic Health Survey (DHS) in Zambia showed a significant improvement, with rates reducing from 729 in 2002 to 591 per 100,000 in 2007, but further progress is being hindered by a lack of trained health workers, inadequate supplies of medicines and emergency equipment and barriers to accessing facilities.
DFID is supporting Zambia in efforts to tackle maternal mortality through a £7.2m maternal health programme (2009-2012). In addition to purchasing emergency obstetric care equipment, it is working with local communities to understand and address the reasons why people do not get the maternal and newborn health services that they need.