DONATIONS by the Chinese government and other development partners have helped health authorities reduce maternal deaths in the Cyclone Idai-ravaged districts of Chimanimani and Chipinge.
At least 634 people lost their lives when Idai ravaged Chimanimani and surrounding areas in March 2019.
Most infrastructure, including clinics, hospitals and schools were levelled by the heavy rains and mudslides, leaving residents, particularly pregnant women without any form of health care facility.
However, with the aid of the Chinese government and other well-wishers, maternal deaths in Chimanimani and Chipinge dropped by 46 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.
Last week, the Chinese government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) handed over reproductive health medical equipment and medicines as part of a US$1,24 million support programme to strengthen emergency obstetric and neonatal care in the cyclone-affected areas.
This donation is expected to contribute to the further reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality by 20 percent in the affected districts.
Zimbabwe has a high maternal mortality rate, with 462 deaths per 100 000 live births, according to the 2019 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey.
China’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun said they would continue to provide aid to help improve the lives of residents in areas like Chimanimani and Chipinge.
“China has been doing its best to provide all kinds of assistance to Zimbabwe in human rights, health care and infrastructure construction,” Guo said.
UNFPA Zimbabwe country representative Esther Muia said the donation would help rehabilitate maternity waiting homes in the affected areas.
“The donation is going to rehabilitate maternity waiting homes at Chipinge District Hospital, Mutambara Mission Hospital and Birchenough Bridge District Hospital to ensure pregnant women who live far from hospitals or have high risk pregnancies can be accommodated comfortably close to these facilities towards their due date.
“We are very grateful for the support that China has provided to Cyclone Idai victims, it’s already making a huge difference in the lives of many women and girls. We look forward to greater cooperation in the future,” Muia said.
Health ministry chief director preventive services Wenceslas Nyamayaro said the government appreciated and values the relationship with China and other donor partners like UNFPA.
“After Cyclone Idai, the Chinese government has provided emergency humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe through bilateral and multilateral channels, and continues to pay close attention and support to the health and living conditions of people in the affected areas,” Nyamayaro said.
and other development partners have helped health authorities reduce maternal deaths in the Cyclone Idai-ravaged districts of Chimanimani and Chipin