A health official in Kazungula District says traditional beliefs in rural areas are hindering effective delivery of maternal health services.
Kazungula District Community Medical Officer Phallon Mwaba says in most cases, people in communities were not able to identify complications during pregnancy, partly due to some traditional beliefs.
He urged the community on the outskirts of Livingstone town to put aside their traditional beliefs and ensure pregnant women delivered their babies in health centres.
Dr Mwaba said this in a speech read for him by his representative Francis Chibinga, in Livingstone yesterday at the launch of a maternity wing at Sons of Thunder Clinic.
He said construction of the maternity wing took his ministry closer to realizing its vision of taking health care services as close to the people as possible.
Dr Mwaba described maternal health as an indispensable part of health care service provision with several benefits such as reduction in maternal deaths and improvement of the well-being of both pregnant and breastfeeding women.
“No woman should die while giving birth. Many women in communities have died during delivery and this is a great loss to the family, community and the nation as a whole,” he said.
And Senior Chief Mukuni of the Toka-Leya people of Kazungula District was happy to note that the clinic which started as one small room had progressed to a full-fledged health facility dedicated to meet the ideals of the underprivileged in society.
Chief Mukuni said the health facility was vital in the area as it catered for over 1, 500 outpatients per month, an average of over 30 monthly deliveries and offered medical inpatient admissions.
He said the gesture by Sons of Thunder founders and its partners to construct a maternity wing was testimony that they were inspired by rich human values.
And Sons of Thunder Director Sal Marini said despite not initially having the resources to start the project, he took a step of faith with his wife Renee to help the vulnerable, by partnering with stakeholders in the United States to construct the maternity wing.