AFRICA-New program to reduce maternal mortality in four countries

Monday, 5 March 2012

Padua (Agenzia Fides) - Today in Africa many mothers and many children die because they do not have adequate sanitation. Not surprisingly, the reduction of maternal and infant mortality is one of the major Millennium Development Goals, established by the United Nations. In particular, access to assisted delivery is more than any other service that dramatically marks the difference between different countries and different social classes. The problems are many, and sometimes trivial for those who live in other contexts: the cost, difficulty of transport, the scarcity and low quality of local services. Maternal mortality in countries interested in the program are among the highest in the world. In Angola, 14 out of 1,000 die, in Ethiopia 7 out of 1,000, in Uganda 5 out of 1,000, in Tanzania 9 out of 1,000. With the new program First mothers and children, just promoted, the organization Doctors with Africa Cuamm, along with other Catholic institutions, aims to ensure free access to safe childbirth and neonatal care. The program aims to increase access to health services, particularly safe childbirth. Concretely, the intervention will focus on the collaboration with the Catholic institutions of the health sector, working in the 4 districts of Angola, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, which are already receiving government support. The population directly interested are about 1.300 thousand inhabitants, with 4 main hospitals and 22 peripheral health centers that can ensure safe childbirth. The goal is to double in 5 years the number of assisted births, from the current 16 000 to over 33 000 per year, with the involvement of hospitals and government health centers. Over the next five years a total of over 125 thousand assisted births will be assured by the project, of which 39 000 in hospitals and 86 000 in government health centers. The Catholic non-profit institutions engaged in this project are that of the Diocese of Ondjiva, in Angola, owner of the Hospital in Chiulo, the only of City Hall of Ombadja, with a population of 300 000 inhabitants; that of the Etiope Episcopal Conference, in Ethiopia , owner of the San Luca hospital in Wolisso, the only one in South West Shoa Zone, with more than 1 million inhabitants, that of the Diocese of Apach, in Uganda, owner of the hospital in Aber, the only one in the sub-district of Oyam, with about 343,600 inhabitants, and that of the Diocese of Iringa, in Tanzania, owner of the hospital in Tosamaganga, the only one in the District of "Iringa Rural" with about 262 000 inhabitants. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 05/03/2012)