The Japanese Organisation for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP) has said Zambia still has an unacceptably high maternal mortality rate despite the declining global mortality ratio.
JOICFP Executive Director Ryoichi Suzuki said this during the official start up meeting for maternal newborn and child health One-Stop- Service project in Masaiti and Mpongwe Districts in Ndola today.
Mr. Suzuki said Zambia’s maternal mortality ratio stood at 398 per 100,000 live births which is 60 times higher than Japan.
Mr. Suzuki said more work needed to be done in delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted and every child birth should be safe.
He said some factors contributing to the high maternal mortality ratio in Zambia need to be tackled in order to achieve notable and sustainable reduction in maternal and child mortality rate.
He added that among the factors were long distances to the health facilities, little empowerment of women, poor community involvement with very weak linkage between the community and the health facility, logistic and resource constraints affecting quality of care.
He said poor environment at the health facility and unfriendly client services were leading to less utilisation of reproductive health service, coupled with male dominant societies.
Mr. Suzuki said among the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), maternal health was progressing least.
Mr. Suzuki said JOICFP is active in the field of population, reproduction health, rights and was striving at contributing to improve the health status of women, men and young people in developing countries.
The One-Stop Service Project will be implemented by PPAZ and the Zambian Government, which is aimed at becoming a good practice for comprehensive approach for improving the status of maternal newborn and child health in Zambia.