Lugina Africa Midwives Research Network (LAMRN) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health has launched a national project that is aimed at curbing still births.
Ministry of Heath Permanent Secretary, Dr Patricia Bobo said still births are one the most neglected tragedies in global health today.
Dr. Bobo said approximately 2.6 million still births occur worldwide each year and 98% occur in low and middle income countries.
She said LAMRN is dedicated to improving maternal health outcomes in Africa by increasing evidence-based practice in midwifery.
She further said that an estimate 4.2 million women worldwide have depression as a result of stillbirth, and that most cases of still births can be prevented with quality health care during pregnancy and childbirth.
In addition she said countries often do not know the number of deaths or the causes of these deaths and thus they are unable to take the effective and timely actions to prevent other babies from dying.
“Reviewing the causes of still births can improve the quality of health care by taking corrective actions and prevent millions of women and families from enduring the pain of losing their babies,” Bobo said
The Ministry said it is attaching great importance to improving maternal health care and that government over the past few years has undertaken massive infrastructure development which has seen the construction of hospitals and health posts across the country.
The Ministry has also undertaken initiatives to train health personnel by introducing direct midwifery training around the country through learning hubs such as Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital which commenced in 2017.
“With such innovations, the ministry hopes to produce an unprecedented increase in the number of health specialists as we focus on positively improving birth outcomes in the future,” said Dr. Bobo.
According to the World Health Organisation and UNICEF, the goal for 2030 is to reduce preventable stillbirth rates in all countries to less than 12 per 1000 births under the every newborn Action Plan Initiative.
Dr. Bobo further urged the ministry and partners to reduce on the numbers of stillbirths and bring in evidence-based interventions to mitigate such cases.