EENHANA: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) funded the construction of two additional buildings at the maternity waiting home at Eenhana Town in the Ohangwena Region to the tune of about N.dollars 300 000.
The UNFPA has at the same time donated a Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 ambulance, worth some N.dollars 404 000, to the Eenhana District Hospital.
The First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba, who is the patron of Maternal and Child Health Agenda in Namibia, traveled to Eenhana on Friday to officially inaugurate the buildings, as well as to receive the ambulance and hand it over to the leadership of that district hospital.
Delivering her address during the inauguration ceremony, Madam Pohamba told those present that she has an obligation to ensure that every mother and child in Namibia count and that no woman should die while giving birth.
“This is a challenge because, globally, every minute of every day, a woman dies of pregnancy related complications,” Namibia’s First Lady noted, adding that the deaths of mother while giving birth leave children motherless.
She also pointed out that the statistics from the Ministry of Health and Social Services show that there are high numbers of maternal deaths as well as deaths of children under the age of five years in Namibia.
Pohamba expressed satisfaction that the Namibian nation has started establishing maternity homes/maternal shelters close to clinic and hospitals to ensure that mothers receive all necessary services and care before and after delivery as a way of preventing maternal and child deaths.
“Birthing or maternal shelters as they are called, address the needs of millions of women in Africa, who currently do not have access to basic health care services,” the First Lady charged.
In a speech delivered by his representative, Loide Amukongo, the UNFPA head in Namibia, Fabian Byomuhangi stated that the expansion of maternity waiting homes reflects a good strategy for bridging the gap in accessing maternal and neonatal health services in the country.
“UNFPA is pleased to be associated with this community initiative of expanding an established maternity waiting home in Eenhana,” said Byomuhangi.
He indicated that the donated ambulance is for the projects meant to contribute to improved maternal health in the Eenhana district.
The Eenhana Maternity Home was established a few years ago with resources from the German Development Services, Eenhana Town Council, which donated the land, Acacia Grassroots Organization and others.
It provides decent accommodation to expecting women who used to wait for delivery under threes close to the Eenhana District Hospital.