North-Western Province Deputy Permanent Secretary Douglas Ngimbu has challenged the Ministry of Health and various stakeholders in the province to actively address the challenges which are contributing towards the increasing number of maternal deaths in the region.
Mr. Ngimbu said maternal deaths have effects at all levels in the country which break down the fibre of society and disrupts continuity of development.
He said this when he officially opened a provincial maternal death review at Kansanshi Hotel in Solwezi today.
Mr. Ngimbu said the Ministry of Health has identified what they should do as a health system to avert maternal deaths and implored other stakeholders to emulate the ministry in the manner they provide solutions to this challenge.
He said there is urgent need to strengthen strategies to reduce teenage pregnancies in the province as the age group of 15 to 19 for girls is associated with high risk morbidity and mortality rate.
Meanwhile, Provincial Health Director, Lawrence Phiri disclosed that the region recorded 47 cases of maternal death this year.
Dr. Phiri said the number of cases has increased as compared to 2017 when 40 maternal deaths were reported.
He said his office and various stake holders are working hard to reduce the current maternal mortality ratio from the current 176 for every 100,000 live births to below 100 for every 100,000 live births.
Dr. Phiri has commended the Ministry of Health for deploying professional health staff for district health facilities in the province.