CIDRZ and Zambian Government Launches Protocols and Training Manuals … We want to reduce neonatal Mortality Rates in Zambia

CIDRZ Chief Executive Officer, Dr Izukanji Sikazwe with some of the children that have benefited from CIDRZ  interventions on improving neonatal care.

CIDRZ and the Ministry of Health have launched the Essential Newborn Training Manual and Newborn Protocols as the Zambian government reiterated its obligation to improving child survival in line with the global commitment and related targets.

Speaking during the official launch, Minister of Health (MoH) Hon. Dr Chitalu Chilufya, in a speech read on his behalf by MoH Permanent Secretary Health Services, Dr Jabbin Mulwanda said “it is well stated within [party] manifesto and in other policy governments that government will work with the cooperating partners and other stakeholders to better the lives of all citizens; and child health is on top of the agenda,” Dr Chilufya added.

The Minister reiterated that the Ministry “is focusing on health promotion, prevention of disease and death, as well as driving curative and rehabilitative health services…. There, the Essential Newborn Care Training Package and Newborn Protocols, when implemented, will contribute to the Ministry’s objective of ‘training and making available competent and adequate numbers of human resources for health to manage health services.”

MoH PermSec, Dr Jabbin Mulwanda, during the official launch of manuals. He was representing the Minister of Health, Dr Chitalu Chilufya.

“Support the Ministry of Health, in any way possible to celebrate every birth & save life of every mother and newborn countrywide. Together we can markedly reduce deaths,” Dr Chilufya appealed.

Speaking earlier, CIDRZ Chief Executive Officer, Dr Izukanji Sikazwe said “for most people, pregnancy and birth is a joyous life event. Sadly, however, many families suffer a pregnancy-related bereavement. To learn that a newborn baby is unwell and is not going to survive must be one of the most harrowing situations imaginable for any parent.”

Dr Sikazwe reiterated CIDRZ commitment to working with the government through the Ministry of Health “in the fight towards the reduction of neonatal mortality through training, capacity building, and provision of medical supplies as we begin the scale-up of these guidelines in Lusaka, Rufunsa and Luangwa Districts.”

“The guidelines being launched today are designed to provide our colleagues with the skills required to reduce neonatal mortality either due to birth asphyxia, neonatal sepsis, preterm birth, or hypothermia. With the launch of these guidelines, it is my plea and hope, to our fellow partners, but most importantly to our Frontline Workers, our healthcare providers, to help us witness a 10-fold reduction in neonatal mortality in the near future,” Dr Sikazwe added.

Some of the participants during the official launch of the protocols and training manuals.

Currently, Zambia’s under-five and infant mortality rates stand at 75 per 1000 live births and 45 per 1,000 live births respectively, while neonatal mortality rate is estimated at 24 per 1,000 live births as of 2014. Zambia’s target is to reduce the neonatal mortality rate to less than 12 per 1,000 live births by 2021.

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