Giving birth in Zambia often leads to the death of the child or the mother.
Full-term or premature births, incomplete abortions, pelvic inflammation are in fact the most frequent causes for hospitalisation. For this reason, the doctors of the Mtendere Mission Hospital work every day to make birth a moment of joy.
Project’s objectives: reducing mother and child death rate by guaranteeing access to services and the quality of assistance, particularly in the southern district of Chirundu, through medical staff training and assistance to the 8 rural clinics that refer to the only hospital of this area.
60,000 beds, the Mtendere Mission Hospital’s catchment area
4,200 women can access the maternity ward
40 professionally trained medical staff
Most women in Zambia still have no education, live in villages and spend their life taking care of home, husband and children. Pregnant women do not come to the hospital to check everything is going well or to give birth: they do not see any reason why they should or they cannot, as the journey would be long, exhausting and expensive.
If undetected and not treated on time, pregnancy complications can on the other hand lead to serious problems for both the mother and the foetus; moreover, if during home-birth foetal distress or other problems occur, no one has the right tools to deal with them.
In Italy pregnant women are given mandatory medical examinations and ultrasound scans, are regularly monitored by their gynaecologist and births are highly medicalised. Even if they’re experiencing economic hardships women are still entitled to medical assistance and healthcare from professionals at hospitals and health centres.
Data speak for themselves: maternal mortality risk in Italy is of 4 women out of 100,000 births, in Zambia this risk is of 224 women out of 100,000 births!*
* source “Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2015” UNICEF, OMS, UNFPA, World Bank and United Nations Population Division
Little Gift was born yesterday by caesarean section. Her young mother, at her second delivery, told me that she had watched a short performance at her village’s market, in which a young man playing the part of a doctor and a young woman pretending to be pregnant explained with comical scenes the importance of pre-delivery check-ups. After the show she asked them some information and, following their advice, she decided to go to the clinic in the nearby village. Here a midwife diagnosed her with hypertension and had her transferred to us because we are the only ones in the area with a fully-equipped operating theatre and personnel trained for premature deliveries.
The journey from her hut to the hospital was organised by our volunteers who regularly visit the District’s villages.
We had to be extremely careful as the woman is HIV-positive and the risk of contagion, particularly for the new-born, was extremely high: luckily here at the MMH we are equipped for this too.
All went well and the baby girl was immediately admitted to the ward for babies born of HIV-positive mothers, where we will assist her until she turns 2.
2011 campaign in support of the MMH
Africa is also this: a hymn to life in spite of poverty.
CELIM has been working for years with the Mtendere Mission Hospital to reduce the mother and child mortality rate in the District of Chirundu by:
This will be possible through: