An Information bulletin of the WCO Zimbabwe Vol. 5, June 2010

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An Information bulletin of the WCO Zimbabwe Vol. 5, June 2010

An Information bulletin of the WCO Zimbabwe Vol. 5, June 2010

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  • 1. HEALTH HARARE An Information bulletin of the WCO Zimbabwe Vol. 5, June 2010 Zimbabwe launches the campaign for accelerated reduction of maternal mortality in Africa (CARMMA) 30 June 2010, Chivi—Masvingo. Zimbabwe launched the country version of the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa ( CARMMA ) on 30th June 2010 under the theme “ Zimbabwe Ca- res, No Woman should Die While Giving Life. ” The CARMMA was officially launched by the Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Honourable Thokozani Khupe at a function which was held at Chivi District Hospital in Masvingo Province. The Deputy Prime Minister, Honour able Thokozani Khupe was named as the CARMMA Goodwill Ambassador in a move that is aimed at lobbying for political support in reducing maternal mortality. The Deputy Prime Minister, who is an advocate of note for women ’ s rights, said she is honoured to be a goodwill ambassador and pledged to lobby political will for women ’ s health. The official launch of the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality ( C ARMMA ) in Zimbabwe has come at the right time because Zimbabwe aims to reduce maternal mortality by about 75% if it is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs ) by 2015 . Currently maternal mortality ratios are estimated to be 725 deaths per 100,000 live births ( Zimbabwe Maternal and Perinatal Mortality Study, 2006 ) and safe motherhood is far from being assured. The country has joined many countries of the African Un- ion to launch this campaign in order to raise awareness on the problem of maternal deaths and advocate for com- mitment to action in order to accelerate progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal on maternal The CARMMA banner with the slogan health. CARMMA provides a platform for a renewed vision and commitment.
  • 2. HEALTH HARARE Page 2 In her speech, the Deputy Prime Minister said the success of this campaign relies on commit- ment and support from everybody. She said the reduction of maternal mortality is very important because if it is reduced then it acts as a catalyst for the reduction of other indicators like child mortality, which are unacceptably high. “ We need to invest heavily in women because a great chunk of the world ’ s GDP comes from the unpaid work of women, ” said Khupe. She Deputy Prime Minister Khupe making her launching speech also said that family planning services are a right for every Zimbabwean woman and urged the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to avail these services to all women and girls so that they make informed decisions. Honorable Khupe encouraged pregnant women to present early at health facilities to avoid loss of life in cases of complications. She congratu- lated the pregnant women who were in the ma- Pregnant women wearing T – shirts with a message - My responsibility: I deliver in a health facility ternity waiting home at Chivi district hospital for ensuring that they deliver their babies in a health facility. She identified financial constraints as one of the contributors to the delay in seeking and access- ing appropriate health care, and urged the gov- ernment to look for other forms of health financ- ing and make health affordable to all women in Zimbabwe. Some of the pregnant women awaiting delivery in the maternity waiting
  • 3. The Deputy Prime Minister also pledged to lobby for hospitals and all health facilities to have uninter- rupted power and water supplies, and urged every- body to donate blood to boost our blood bank so that it is always available for women in need. In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr Henry Madzorera said the launch was just the start of a campaign that will run for the next 5 years and urged everybody to work together to reduce maternal mortality. “ This is only The Honourable Minister of Health and Child Welfare , Dr H. a launch for a 5 year program and we need to pool Madzorera making his remarks our resources and ensure that no woman dies while giving life, because Zimbabwe cares, ” said Madzorera. He lamented the high ratios of maternal and children under 5 mortality and said that CAR- MMA “ will change our course as a nation. ” Dr Madzorera urged all pregnant women to deliver in a health facility and protect theirs and their chil- dren ’ s lives. He said presenting late is one of the causes of high maternal mortality, a situation he said could be avoided if women made use of the maternity waiting homes at district hospitals. He WHO Representative Dr C. Mandlhate speaking on behalf of the said that his ministry of health and child welfare will UN in Zimbabwe undertake to strengthen information, communication and transport services in all issues of maternal health. He also said they will revitalise all maternity waiting homes in all hospitals, and acknowledged the support from partners and donors in this exer- cise. UNFPA donated beds and bedding to refurbish the maternity waiting home at Chivi district hospital, where expectant mothers were sleeping on the floor. In a speech read on behalf of the UN in Zimbabwe by WHO Representative Dr Mandlhate on behalf of Village health workers from Chivi district singing a song
  • 4. HEALTH HARARE Page 4 the Resident Coordinator, the UN congratulated the government of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare for their commitment towards improving the health of the people of Zim- babwe, and in particular, maternal and neonatal health, through the launching of this African Un- ion initiative. Dr Mandlhate echoed the Honorable Minister ’ s statement saying that the launch was just the be- ginning of the campaign. She said, “ today ’ s Baba naMai Charamba and the Fishers of Men performing the CARMMA launch marks the beginning of accelerated imple- theme song they produced mentation of the Zimbabwe Maternal and Neona- tal Roadmap. The campaign should however not end with this launch alone. Follow up activities need to be implemented in order to realize impact on reducing maternal and neonatal deaths. “ She also said that improving maternal health and reducing neonatal mortality is not a standalone agenda as this is tied to many factors including economic development, gender equality and so- cial interactions, the welfare of young people, HIV prevention, family planning and health systems strengthening among others and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare alone can not address The Deputy Prime Minister presenting a gift to one of the pregnant women staying in the maternity waiting home at Chivi hospital all the determinant factors. She stated that UN agencies especially UNFPA, UNICEF, UNAIDS and ( WHO ) were working in collaboration with the Government in implementing several initiatives on maternal, neonatal and child health in the country. She said the UN was fully committed to providing both financial and technical support for accelerating actions towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. “ We all have a role to play. I do hereby call upon all stakeholders to raise their stake in support towards reduction of maternal mortality, ” said Dr Mandlhate. Honourable Khupe holding the CARMMA sculpture presented to her
  • 5. Students from Chivi High School entertained the crowd with songs Dr Mandlhate receiving her CARMMA sculpture Honorable Khupe, Dr Madzorera and Dr Mandlhate dancing to the Members of the UN country team and other partners pose for a photo theme song with the Honorable Khupe and Dr Madzorera For more information contact: Wendy JULIAS COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER juliasw@zw.afro.who.int