Deputy Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya says Zambia has achieved Millennium Development Goal number five of reducing maternal mortality rate.
Dr Chilufya said maternal mortality rate has reduced from 591 deaths per 100 ,000 in 2007 to 162 deaths per 100,000 by 2015.
Speaking during the 5th graduation ceremony of 105 Zambia Enrolled Nurses and midwives from St Luke’s School of Nursing held at Mpanshya Mission in Rufunsa district, Dr. Chilufya who was represented at the ceremony by Ministry of Health Director of Clinical Care Services Dr Kennedy Lishimpi said the achievement was as a result of interventions such as increasing the number of nurses and midwives in training institutions.
Dr Chilufya stated that the graduation of 105 nurses and midwives from St Luke’s School of Nursing and Midwifery was very important as it will contribute in reducing the shortage of health personnel in the country.
He commended St Luke School of Nursing management and teaching staff for recording a 99 percent pass rate saying the move showed that the school was committed to producing competent nurses and midwives who will meet government’s expectation of providing quality health care services to the patients.
Dr Chilufya added that government was making significant strides in improving the availability of qualified health staff by upgrading a number of health training institutions which included St Luke, which has since commenced offering a diploma programme in Registered Nursing and Midwifery.
He further said, improved staffing levels in the health sector had a direct positive impact on delivery of quality health care to the Zambian people.
And acting General Nursing Council Registrar Mercy Chibende urged the new nurses and midwives to promote and protect the interests, safety and well-being of patients and clients in the course of their duty.
Mrs Chibende implored the new graduands to remain committed and adhere to their vows and pledges.
She called all the nurses to work together and expose those tarnishing the image of nurses.