Maternal mortality rate drops 39%

ZIMBABWE’S maternal mortality rate declined by 36% from 2009 to last year, a report has revealed.

PATIENCE RATAMBWA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

In 2009, there were a recorded 960 deaths per 100 000 live births, which declined to 614 deaths per 100 000 live births in 2014.

According to the report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund, this decrease is a result of the turnaround that Zimbabwe took socioeconomically in 2009 after the economic meltdown in the past decade had crippled service delivery in the country.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Zimbabwe attributed the decline in infant deaths to the involvement of a number of non-governmental organisations that joined hands with the Health and Child Care ministry to curb child mortality.

“As UNFPA Zimbabwe, we have concentrated our efforts in reducing maternal mortality by strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Child Care in areas such as emergency obstetric and neonatal care, reproductive health commodities, maternal death surveillance and response, revitalisation of maternity waiting homes, HIV prevention and family planning,” reads their report.

“We thank the generous contributions from the international donor community namely the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe, Department for International Development UK, Swedish International Development Authority, Irish Aid and Canadian International Development Agency.”

Maternal death is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of pregnancy termination and though the number is decreasing in Zimbabwe, the rate is still one of the highest in the world.

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