Nam makes progress in key health services
Windhoek – Namibia is among the top five countries in Africa in terms of reducing child and maternal mortality, though some critical gaps remain in national responses to the problem.
This has seen the country seek assistance from its international partners as part of efforts to attain the health-related aspects of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
At present, UNICEF and the government of Japan are working on a programme to extend a US$1.5 million grant to Namibia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services to strengthen maternal and child health services.
“This support is very critical in order to scale up the country’s efforts on maternal and newborn health and child survival,” said Dr Richard Kamwi, the country’s Minister of Health and Social Services. “It is also a timely boost for the Government of Namibia’s ongoing efforts to scale up interventions to improve quality equitable health services in the country towards attaining MDGs by 2015.”
Though Namibia has recorded progress, the statistics still paint a grim picture: maternal mortality stands at 200 per 100 000 live births, while child mortality is at 42 per 1 000 births.
“And one in every three under-five children experienced stunting. Children and women in rural areas and the poorest quantiles are more at risk of not receiving quality health services compounded by frequent natural disasters.”
The UNICEF and government of Japan assistance will provide primary healthcare services to more than 17 000 women and children in seven regions of Namibia.
UNCIEF’s Country Representative in Namibia, Micaela Marques de Sousa, said, “This package of interventions is very important to child survival and maternal health services…
“This will ensure that all children, whether rich or poor are protected from vaccine preventable diseases.”
Japan’s Ambassador to Namibia, Yutaka Yoshizawa, added: “With collective and sufficient resources from all of us together we can arrest the incidences of child and maternal diseases. We hope that the grant … will contribute to Namibia’s achievement of the two Millennium Development Goals – one is MDG 4, reducing under-five mortality by two-thirds by 2015 and the other is MDG 5, the improvement of maternal health.”