THE American government has disbursed fifty million United States Dollars towards the Saving Mothers, Giving life (SMGL) initiative to eighteen districts in Zambia for a period of five years.
U.S. A’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Deputy Associate Director for Programs, Dr Mary Boyd has revealed that the funds were disbursed through the collaboration of U.S. government agencies.
Dr Boyd who was speaking at Eastern Province Dissemination Meeting held at Crystal Springs Hotel in Chipata today added that the SMGL initiative was a collaboration of the United States
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of Defense (DOD) and Peace Corps.
The SMGL initiative in Eastern Province is being implemented in Chipata City , Petauke, Sinda, Vubwi, Lundazi and Mambwe Districts , respectively, and targeting 140,000
pregnant women in over 400 facilities across the country.
When the programme was initiated; goals were set which included reducing maternal deaths by 50 percent and prenatal deaths by 30 percent.
“It is good to note the preliminary results showed a 45 percent reduction in maternal mortality from 2012 to 2016.
“ This is a clear indication that a health systems strengthening approach can be achieve remarkably, “ said Dr Boyd.
She has since thanked the Ministry of Health in the province, traditional leaders and other stakeholders in the region for their dedication and
contribution towards the initiative’s success.
And speaking earlier, Eastern Provincial Health Director Dr Kennedy Kabuswe said the region is privileged to host such an important meeting whose essence is to implement what has been achieved after so much investment.
Dr Kabuswe , who was represented by Public Health Specialist Jairos Mulambya, said chiefs and community committees from the implementing districts were instrumental in the achievement of the program.
“ The main focus was to reduce the number of maternal deaths and that there were some interventions which involved the support from the community to ensure that the pregnant mothers’ health is preserved, ‘ he said.
He noted that the province has benefitted from the cooperating partners through sharing of experiences from the intervention which are part of the system and have led to improved service delivery and quality care for the mothers.