Windhoek, 27 February 2013 -- A four-year Programme to accelerate the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 4 (Reduce Child Mortality) and 5 (Improve Maternal Health), funded by the European Union to the tune of €10 million (approximately NAD100 million) was launched in Windhoek today.
The Programme for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality in Namibia – PARMaCM- is a joint partnership between the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO). First Lady of the Republic of Namibia, and Patron of Maternal and Child Health in Namibia, Madame Penehupifo Pohamba launched the Programme and invited all stakeholders to join efforts towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 in Namibia. “The health of Namibian mothers and children is so close to my heart and it is with a sense of urgency that I proudly launch this Programme today”, she said.
PARMaCM is a programme designed to address the challenges faced by Namibia in relation to the achievement of maternal and child health goals by 2015. Despite excellent coverage of Antenatal care services and delivery in health facilities, Namibia has made no progress in reducing maternal mortality rates since 1990. Despite improvements in immunization coverage, child health remains challenged by high levels of malnutrition and inadequate immunization against childhood diseases. PARMaCM will be implemented in collaboration with a wide range of partners and stakeholders, including UN Agencies, bilateral partners and civil society organizations.
The MoHSS has been deploying several efforts to curb maternal and child deaths in the country. With support from its partners, it has developed and adopted a Road Map to reduce maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality and launched CARMMA, the African Union Campaign for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa. “The Government is committed to this cause and we will deliver, if adequate resources are made available”, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi said at the launching ceremony.
The EU Ambassador Raul Fuentes Milano described the engagement of his Delegation in this endeavour as evidence of their commitment to help achieve the Millennium Declaration Goals. He emphasised partnership spirit, mutual trust and accountability as key principles underlying PARMaCM.
The WHO Country Office in Namibia has been advocating for increased financial and technical resources to tackle the policy, systemic and structural constraints that are hampering efforts to improve child and maternal health. Dr Magda Robalo, the WHO Representative to Namibia underscored the importance of getting priorities right when it comes to health matters. She said “Namibia is capable of achieving MDGs 4& 5 if commitment remains high and the right level of investments are made where it matters the most”.
The event was attended by senior Cabinet members, Parliamentarians, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, Heads of bilateral and International Organizations, civil society organizations and community representatives.
Note for the Editors:
The Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group, comprising the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Population Division, and the World Bank, together with a team at the University of California at Berkeley, United States of America have estimated that globally, 287 000 maternal deaths occurred in 2010, a decline of 47% from levels in 1990. According to the same source, in 2010 Sub-saharan Africa accounted for 56% of the global maternal mortality and had the highest Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR). In 2010, the MMR was estimated at 210 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births globally and 200 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births in Namibia. Namibia’s MMR is considered moderate by the Inter-Agency Group, a definition that ranges from 100-299 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births. The Group also estimates that in some countries in Southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland), MMR increased from the year 1990 to 2000, mainly as a result of the HIV epidemic and it is now declining as antiretroviral therapy is widely available. In Namibia, bleeding, eclampsia, sepsis and obstructed labour have been identified as major causes of maternal mortality.
Issued by: The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in Namibia
For more details, contact:
MoHSS: Directorate of Primary Health Care, Ms M. Nghatanga
( mnghatanga [at] mhss.gov.na; Tel:+264612032700)
EU Delegation: Ms Natasha Tibinyane
( Natasha-Hendrika.TIBINYANE [at] eeas.europa.eu; Tel:+26461 202 6233)
WHO Namibia: Dr Andemichael Ghirmay, Maternal and Child Health Officer
( andemichaelg [at] na.afro.who.int; Tel: +26461255191)