Higherlife distributes maternal health equipment across Zimbabwe

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There are fears that maternal and neonatal mortality rates are projected to increase by 48 percent and 30 percent, respectively, without intervention
There are fears that maternal and neonatal mortality rates are projected to increase by 48 percent and 30 percent, respectively, without intervention

Staff Writer

Seven hospitals from across Zimbabwe will receive maternal health medical equipment from ELMA Philanthropies and Higherlife Foundation.

The handover of the equipment started on Thursday this week.

Chitungwiza General Hospital received the equipment Friday morning.

In a statement, Higherlife Foundations said COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted provision of essential maternal and neonatal health services.

The pandemic, the foundation said, had severely eroded the steady gains that Zimbabwe had made in improving mortality rates.

Maternal and neonatal mortality rates are projected to increase by 48 percent and 30 percent, respectively, over the next year, without intervention.

“When we heard about the state of our maternity wards, we knew we had to respond. Through the generous support of our close partner ELMA Philanthropies, who funded the project, we can invest in saving the lives of the most vulnerable of our communities, new-born babies and their mothers.

“ELMA Philanthropies’ response for which we are truly   grateful, has proven to us that as Zimbabweans, we do not  walk alone, there are like-minded organisations and partners  who are willing, not only to empathise with us but also to invest in us,” Higherlife Foundation chief executive Dr Kennedy Mubaiwa said.

The equipment handover is part of the Foundation’s work to create a safe working environment in maternity wards and to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes across the targeted institutions by addressing the shortages of equipment that lead to incorrect risk assessments, diagnosis, and treatment.

The programme will see 925 Blood Pressure Machines, 55 Glucometers, 110 Infrared Thermometers and 54  Faetal  Dopplers  distributed  to  maternity  departments  at  Sally  Mugabe  Hospital and  Mbuya Nehanda  Maternity  Hospital.

Other beneficiaries will include Mpilo Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), Mutare Provincial Hospital (Manicaland) and Gweru Provincial Hospital (Midlands.

In addition to this initial placement, the Foundation intends to supply these hospitals with more large-scale, high-tech equipment early next year.

To strengthen health systems, build technical capacity and improve service delivery, Higherlife Foundation will also provide training for health facility personnel.

“The comprehensive training will utilise a blended learning approach of both in-person and online training courses to broaden the knowledge, expertise and competence of doctors, midwives, nurses, and auxiliary staff in the maternity wards.

“This investment is an expression of our deep sense of appreciation for all medical personnel who spend the greater part of their lives and careers saving Zimbabwean lives and helping our communities to thrive,” Dr Mubaiwa said.

Higherlife Foundation is guided by its “Vision 2050” – to see Zimbabwe become an upper-middle income economy by 2050.

A key component of achieving this vision is building healthy, thriving, and resilient communities who are at the centre of the Foundation’s interventions in health.

Higherlife Foundation is a social impact organisation that invests in human capital to build thriving individuals, communities and sustainable livelihoods.

Founded by Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa in 1996 out of their deep Christian faith, heartfelt compassion as well as their personal experiences of orphan-hood.

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