Japan donates maternity homes in Mat North
THE Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe recently officially handed over maternity waiting homes to two health institutions in Hwange in an effort to reduce maternal and child mortality in the district.
The two homes at Lukosi Rural Hospital and Milonga Clinic in Jambezi were constructed at a cost of $88 727 through a grant handed to a nongovernmental organisation, Wild4life to improve facilities for medical services, maternal and child health in the district.
The project also included the construction of a toilet block as well as renovations on main hospital wards.
The hand-over ceremony which was attended by Government officials as well as chiefs Shana and Nekatambe, came a year after the Japanese Embassy also supported the construction of a physiotherapy block at St Patrick’s Mission Hospital in Hwange.
The fully equipped home at Lukosi Rural Hospital now has 32 beds up from 12 beds.
Accepting the donation, the Minister for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs, Cde Cain Mathema said the intervention would reduce incidents in which women are forced to give birth at home.
“We welcome what the Japanese people have done to improve the health of our people in the rural areas where people are faced with the plight of giving birth at home as they are no waiting shelters at their clinics. These two facilities will go a long way in reducing maternal and child deaths at birth. We can assure you Your Excellency that the facilities will be put to good use,” said Cde Mathema.
The Minister urged the Japanese to also consider investing in the province he said was rich in mineral and natural resources.
“In addition to the assistance you are offering us, we would like to see Japanese people investing in the province which is rich in minerals and wildlife. There are many win-win opportunities in the province in which you can invest dams, hotels, and mining and irrigation projects as we enhance livelihoods. So this is an invitation I’m extending to you ambassador on behalf of the people of Matabeleland North,” he said.
Handing over the health facilities, Ambassador Yoshi Tendai Hiraishi said the upgraded facilities would help reduce incidents of women or children dying during birth.
Before the construction of the shelter at Milonga clinic, women from Jambezi would either visit Victoria Falls Hospital 60km away or worse give birth at home.