Over 100 newborn babies lost weekly to labor errors in Zambia

Health official says country also losing 10-15 women weekly to preventable maternal causes

James Kunda   | 26.01.2022
Over 100 newborn babies lost weekly to labor errors in Zambia File Photo

LUSAKA, Zambia

Over 100 newborn babies are lost weekly in Zambia due to errors in labor and delivery procedures, including stillbirths, the nation’s health minister said Wednesday.

Sylvia Masebo said her country also loses 10 to 15 women weekly to preventable maternal causes.

"The majority of stillbirths, maternal, and newborn deaths recorded can be avoided through the provision of safe and quality skilled health professionals," she said on Wednesday in the Lusaka, marking World Patient Safety Day.

Speaking at the University Teaching Hospital, the country's biggest referral health institution, which hosted the occasion, Masebo said patient safety is fundamental to delivering quality essential health services.

"There is a clear consensus that quality health services across all regions of the country should be effective, safe, and people centered," she said.

Zambia has a maternal mortality rate of around 272/100,000 live births and a neonatal mortality of 27/100,000.

Musaku Mwenechanya, senior medical superintendent at the hospital, said the country has the capacity to reverse the trend given adequate personnel and healthcare supplies and equipment.

Mwenechanya said the children's hospital at the teaching hospital, for instance, has been unable to acquire the required essentials due to inadequate funding.

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