Kalumbi Shangula, the Minister of Health and Social Services, said that maternity homes help to reduce maternal and infant mortality
He was speaking at the official opening of the maternity waitig home in Outapi in the Omusati Region.
“It should be noted that, in general, the majority of maternal deaths are caused by preventable or treatable complications. It is therefore, important that all expectant mothers make an effort to present to health facilities on time before labour, during the Third Trimester. This will save lives. It is the reason that the Maternity Waiting Shelters have been built at different hospitals such as Opuwo, Katima Mulilo, Onandjokwe, Eenhana and Rundu hospitals. The Maternity Waiting Homes or Shelters can go a long way to prevent maternal and infant mortalities in our country,” he said adding that waiting mothers will also participate in information sessions where they learn about general cleanliness, breastfeeding, infant and child nutrition, child care and more.
Maternity Waiting Homes (MWHs) are facilities near a health centre, where women can stay near the end of their pregnancy and/or after birth to ensure timely access to essential childbirth care or care for complications. The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development is in charge of the facilities.
The official opening of this Maternity Waiting Home, according to Shangula, represents the culmination of massive collective efforts that began in late 2013 with the idea of constructing the
Tukwathela Mothers Shelter at the Outapi Hospital. From then on, many institutions and individuals contributed to the shelter’s construction in some way.
Furthermore, Shangula thanked the former First Lady, who is also the shelter’s patron, and the former governor of the Omusati region for their support of the project, as well as the governor of the Omusati region, Erginus Endjala, for his networking role.
Ombalantu Traditional Authority, Omusati Regional Council, Outapi Town Council, World Health
Organisation (WHO), NamPort, Standard Bank, and other Samaritans contributed to the construction of the home.
Cabinet approved the Policy Framework for the Implementation of Universal Health Coverage in
Namibia in March of this year. Universal Health Coverage is a United Nations initiative that encourages countries to implement policies that ensure all citizens have access to quality health
care services without financial hardship or disaster. In other words, citizens are not required to sell
their assets in order to fund health-care services.