Zambia declares maternal and perinatal deaths as a public health emergency (2)

10 May, 2019

Dear Neil and other Hifa members,

I thank Godson Mukosa Mpumba for posting the presidential lamentations about maternal deaths experinced by our women while giving life. The statistics qouted are very alarming. However, pronouncements are made on each each and every occasion but they lack implimentation. Zambia has fantastic policies on maternal and mortality which should not wait to be actualised until an occasion like this. Of course we appreciate that presidential decrees carry a lot of powers but health issues are too important to be left to politicians. Our take on this is that all professionals should act now, journalists should follow such pronouncents to the implimentation stage. What is WHO tolerable or acceptable level of maternal deaths in losw and medium income countries? For instance WHO recommends that there should be a clinic after 5 kilometres in town and 12 km in rural areas. Christine Kanyengo et al did a survey in 1999 in western provonce. Some of their findings revealed that patients accessed health care services after travelling about 1000 km by road or water. Therefore, mere prpnoiments Mat not be enough. However I wish to thank our dear president EC. Lungu for taking a leading rolę in promoting good health.

HIFA profile: Kenneth L Chanda is Associate Consultant and Lecturer at National Institute of Public Administration where he is lecturing in Records Management. He is co-author of The development of telehealth as a strategy to improve health care services in Zambia. Kenneth L. Chanda & Jean G. Shaw. Health Information & Libraries Journal. Volume 27, Issue 2, pages 133139, June 2010. He recently retired as Assistant Medical Librarian at the University of Zambia. klchanda AT