Nuusita Ashipala Ongwediva-The construction of the new maternity shelter at Opuwo is progressing well with the expectant mothers expected to make use of the facility by February next year. The N$5 million shelter will be constructed under the Programme for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality (PARMACM). The shelter will be constructed within a period of four months and is funded by the European Union. The maternity shelter will relieve the plight of expectant mothers delivering outside health care facilities and subsequently reduce the infant mortality rates. Besides Opuwo, Outapi as well as Engela District hospitals have been in the media for the same reasons. World Health Organisation (WHO) Promotion Officer and Communication Focal Point, Celia Kaunatjike, said the shelter seeks to draw expectant mothers to the hospital. The shelter will further facilitate access to professional health care and ensure safe deliveries and improved survival for mothers. In addition, Kaunatjike said the shelter will contribute immensely to saving the lives of mothers and children in the region. According to Kaunatjike, Opuwo District is marred by challenges such as extreme levels of poverty, long distances to health care facilities and low health-seeking behaviours. “This has resulted in low performance in maternal and child health care indicators. Opuwo has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and the lowest deliveries at facilities,” said Kaunatjike. The shelter is expected to house 60 mothers at a time and is being constructed on land donated by the Opuwo Town Council. The expectant mothers’ shelter is part of the European Union €10 million facility translating to over N$160 million. The PARMACM programme aims to accelerate the reduction of child and maternal mortality.
2017-12-18 09:04:03 9 months ago