Namibia enhances maternal, child welfare programmes

Windhoek – A high-level delegation led by Namibia’s First Lady, Madam Penehupifo Pohamba, is visiting Outapi, in the Omusati Region, to consult on the maternity waiting home to be built in the district.

Accompanying Madam Pohamba are Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi, the European Union Head of Delegation, Ambassador Raul Fuentes Milani, the UNICEF Representative to Namibia, Micaela Marques de Sousa and the WHO Representative to Namibia, Dr Magda Robalo.

The delegation will discuss with the various authorities, the support that the Programme for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PARMaCM) will provide to the maternity waiting home in Outapi and the maternity ward in Oshakati. The facility would enable pregnant women and their newborns to access quality care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal periods and prevent maternal and child deaths.  

Construction of the maternity waiting homes is one of the strategies to bridge the geographical gap to access emergency obstetric and neonatal care, particularly by poor and disadvantaged women.

The Omusati region, with a total population of 242 900 inhabitants and an estimated 9 716 pregnant women annually, will benefit from this support which is expected to contribute to the reduction of maternal and child mortality in the region.

 The delegation will meet the Governor of Omusati Region, Sophia Shaningwa, the Regional Health Directorates of Omusati and Oshana regions, members of the community and pregnant women currently staying in the maternity shelter. The delegation will also visit the Maternity Ward in Oshakati Hospital, Oshana Region.

PARMaCM is a partnership between the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS), the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) aimed at supporting the implementation of Namibia’s roadmap for accelerated reduction of maternal and newborn mortality and achievement of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 by 2015.

The First Lady launched PARMaCM on February 27, 2013. The European Union is funding the programme for US$13.4 million (10 million Euros).

September 2013
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