EENHANA: The Ohangwena Region has been chosen for the initial implementation of the reproductive health project because of its poor maternal and child health indicators.
First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba said this at Eenhana Town in that region whilst officially inaugurating additional buildings of the Eenhana Maternity Waiting Home on Friday.
According to the First Lady, the assessment conducted in 2005/2006 on Emergency Obstetric Care revealed that the Ohangwena Region has no facility that offers basic emergency obstetric care.
Similar report of 2007/2008, Pohamba said, indicated that only 43 percent of women in the region delivered at health facilities while 57 percent gave birth in the community.
“This is a big concern,” the First Lady noted, adding that “another concern is that 90 percent of the region’s population lives in the rural area”.
Pohamba told her audience that long distance is one of the three delays contributing to poor utilization of health services and consequently maternal and child deaths.
She pointed out that strategic geographic location of health facilities, such as birthing shelters, is critical in order to reduce maternal and child deaths in the Ohangwena Region.
“It is also critical to improve the means of transport for the region,” stated Pohamba, while at the same time expressing satisfaction with the donation of a Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 ambulance of with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) donated to the Eenhana District Hospital during the inauguration of the buildings.
The First Lady indicated that one of her priorities, as the Patron of Maternal and Child Health Agenda in Namibia, is to make maternal and child health services accessible to pregnant women and their newborn babies through resources mobilization.
“It is my dream to see maternal shelters wherever they are needed in all 13 regions (of the country),” said Pohamba and called on the users of maternal shelter at Eenhana to maintain and keep it tidy and hygienic now and for the future.
The UNFPA constructed the additional accommodation buildings at the Eenhana Maternity Waiting Home to the tune of about N.dollars 300 000, while the ambulance vehicle worth some N.dollars 404 000.