Zambia’s Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Gary Nkombo, has assured the public that the government is working to meet the increasing demand for healthcare infrastructure and services due to the growing population. Nkombo made the comments while visiting Chipata Level One Hospital in Lusaka on Christmas Day, where he handed out Christmas hampers donated by First Lady Mutinta Hichilema to the newborn babies.
The hospital recorded 13 Christmas babies born by 10:30 am on Christmas Day, including nine boys and four girls. Medical Superintendent Mataa Mataa stated that the hospital has a high delivery rate of 700 babies per month. Nkombo thanked the First Lady for her generous donation and commended the hospital staff for ensuring that the mothers delivered safely. He also thanked other organizations that had donated Christmas hampers and other groceries to the hospital.
In Livingstone, five Christmas babies were born between midnight and 3:30 am at various healthcare facilities, including three females and two males. One of the mothers was a 17-year-old grade nine student at Makunka Primary School in Kazungula District. Livingstone District Health Director Faceroy Nkole expressed happiness that the minor had successfully given birth at Livingstone Teaching Hospital and noted that, with a number of interventions, the district had managed to reduce adolescent pregnancies to below 17% although it has not yet reached the national target of 10%. Livingstone Mayor Constance Muleabai, who donated hampers to the newborn babies, urged young girls to abstain from sexual activity and focus on their education, especially now that the government has implemented free education.
In addition to the hampers donated by the First Lady and the Livingstone Mayor, the Mosi-Ou-Tunya Rotary Club of Livingstone also donated hampers to Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Clinic, where they have a partnership. Livingstone Member of Parliament Rodney Sikumba stated that a significant amount of money from the Constituency Development Funds will be dedicated to building maternity annexes in healthcare facilities in the district.
Zambia’s Health Minister, Sylvia Masebo, also visited Chongwe District Hospital on Christmas Day, where she handed out Christmas hampers to five mothers and urged all mothers to deliver at healthcare facilities in order to reduce the number of neonatal and maternal mortality cases in the country. Masebo assured the public that the government is doing everything possible to ensure that all healthcare facilities have qualified health workers to assist mothers.