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    Mothers and children health

    Being born and surviving birth in Zambia

from 1962 to date, a small clinic has become the Missionary Hospital for Peace ©Davide Pizzardi
  • 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.

We want to increase the number of assisted births by inviting women to get checked and to give birth in hospital.

Health and hygiene education meeting

Safeguarding maternity is one of the aspects of the challenge of women in Africa.

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.

In Zambia, most women cannot get access to the right kind of healthcare during pregnancy and birth because information and services are still poor or inadequate.

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

2013 campaign Un sogno per crescere (A dream for growth) in support of the MMH

Being born is not enough to live

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.

  • My name is Erminia Ferrario, I am a nun and a doctor at the MMH since 2010.
Little Gift and her mother Chibesa ©Davide Pizzardi

If the baby is born healthy it is also thanks to you

In brief

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:

  • improving the quality of the health service on offer;
  • guaranteeing access to the structure to a greater number of women.

This will be possible through:

  • professional training and updating of 40 between the hospital’s medical staff and paramedics and the structures linked to the same;
  • the supply of appropriate healthcare instruments and equipment;
  • a better knowledge and awareness of the importance of assisted birth for approximately 4,200 women of the District’s community.
  • Project title
    Improving the quality of and access to mother and neonatal healthcare services in the District of Chirundu – Zambia

    Head of project
    Gianclaudio Bizzotto,  celim.zambia@celim.org.zm

    Dates
    May 2016/May 2017

     

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