By A Correspondent- Mpilo Central Hospital yesterday received state-of-the-art machines from the Higher Life Foundation to help the hospital improve maternal and neo-natal health services.
The equipment includes three cardio tachographs, one ultrasound, three portable multi-parameter monitors, three vacuum extraction kits, 10 suction machines, two neonate resuscitation kits, three CPAP machines, three multi-parameter monitors, four infusion pumps and four syringe pumps.
Part of the package includes servicing the donated machines whenever they break down which the foundation will finance in partnership with the ELMA Group of Foundations. Mpilo recorded 7 167 births, 44 home births and 10 deaths last year which translate to a 140 MMR.
A total of 378 women died while giving birth in Zimbabwe in 2020 which translates to a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of about 127 per 100 000 births. Of these women, 66 died at home while 312 lost their lives at health institutions.
In the Trends in Maternal Mortality Study, the United Nations considers an MMR of less than 100 as low, between 100 and 299 as moderately low and high when it is 300 to 499.
In his speech, Higher Life Foundation chief executive officer Dr Kennedy Mubaiwa said the placement and use of this critical equipment in maternity wards will improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes.
“These will also facilitate the correct risk assessments, diagnosis, and treatment of mothers and neonates. The maternal health project is part of our work towards strengthening the healthcare system in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Dr Mubaiwa said Covid-19 continues to disrupt the provision of essential maternal and neonatal health services.
“We remain truly grateful to The ELMA Group of Foundations for their continued investment and support to this project which builds capacity of our maternity wards and healthcare staff within our hospitals,” said Dr Mubaiwa.
The equipment was also distributed to maternity departments at Sally Mugabe Hospital, Mbuya Nehanda Maternity Hospital, Chitungwiza Hospital, United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), Manicaland Provincial Hospital and Midlands Provincial Hospital.
“This is the second round of equipment deliveries to the seven hospitals after the first handover in December. Furthermore, to build technical capacity and improve service delivery, we recently commenced Emergency Obstetrics and Neonatal Care Training and Human Factors, Leadership, and Ethics Training which will reach 3 768 doctors, nurses, midwives, and auxiliary staff,” he said.
Dr Mubaiwa added: “Our hope, through the provision of this equipment and delivery of much-needed training, is to create a safe working environment in our maternity wards and to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes across the institutions we have targeted.”
Mpilo acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya said the machines will help Mpilo to continue saving the lives of pregnant women and unborn babies.
“We are very grateful because this equipment will improve maternal and neo-natal health. The ultimate aim is making sure we deliver safe babies as women are a backbone of the nation and we should do everything to save their lives as they bear the future of Zimbabwe,” said Prof Ngwenya.
Mpilo has been doing well in providing maternal services as shown by a sharp decline in maternal deaths says Prof Ngwenya.
“Our challenge has been to reduce neo-natal mortality which remains high. Covid has also affected us in a way as some of our deaths were recorded from positive women,” said Prof Ngwenya.-chronicle