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By Nation Reporter

THE Ministry of health has priotised monitoring of mothers who die while giving birth to ascertain the cause and find ways of preventing such demises in a bid to reduce maternal mortality rate in the country.

Ministry of healthy permanent secretary for training and development, Professor Ewlyn Chomba said the ministry was receiving information on maternal mortality rates every week through the provincial health offices across the country.

Speaking in an interview, Prof. Chomba said the move was aimed at reducing maternal mortality rate from the current 398 to 100 by 2021.

She said the ministry was also training nurses in midwifery and making resources such as transport for expectant mothers who are referred to another health facility for delivery.

“We aim to reduce maternal mortality rate from 398 to 100 by 2021 by prioritizing monitoring, each province is sending data almost each week of who has died and why,” said Prof. Chomba.

She said the information received from the provincial health offices would help the ministry determine how it has performed in reducing maternal mortality rate. Prof. Chomba further said the ministry also intends to reduce child mortality from 75 per 1,000 to 35 by 2021 as indicated in the Zambia Demographic Health Survey (ZDHS).

She stated that ZDHS has revealed improvement in maternal mortality rate from 591 deaths per 100,000 in 2007 to 398 in 2013 and child mortality rate from 297 per 1000 deaths to 75.

Prof. Chomba however said much more needed to be done in order to reduce the rates even lower than they are.

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