Two maternity wards, built under the European Union funded Millennium Development Goal Initiative (MDGi), were inaugurated on the 14th of November by the Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya. The events at George Health Centre (Lusaka District) and Ngwere Main Health Centre (Chongwe District) drew crowds as the maternity wards and equipment such as ultrasound machines were handed over to the Government of the Republic of Zambia.
MDGi is improving 54 health facilities in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces with training of health workers and community volunteers and by providing life-saving equipment such as incubators, midwife and obstetric instruments, emergency trollies, among others.
Mothers are now able to deliver in an adequate and clean environment with a competent and caring health professional team in attendance. WASH related infrastructure such as chlorine production unit, ablution renovations, drinking and hand washing points, incinerator and placenta pit have also been provided through the programme. The production of chlorine on-site has reduced costs for the health facilities and has eliminated the necessity for mothers to purchase disinfectant materials and drinking water, an action that previously hindered some poorer mothers from delivering at the health centre.
The MDGi programme aims at accelerating the reduction of maternal, neonatal, and child mortality in Zambia. The 50 million euro programme is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Zambian Ministry of Health with technical support of UNICEF and UNFPA.