Local NGO seeks to improve maternal health

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A local non-governmental organisation (NGO), operating in Goromonzi District, is seeking to improve maternal health through its sustainable energy programme targeting disadvantaged rural communities.

BY OWN CORRESPONDENT

ZimEnergy Eco-Foundation (ZEEF), which is registered as a Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO), has embarked on an ambitious maternal and child health project, which will see it providing sustainable solar energy facilities at rural clinics that have no electricity.

The project, which is in line with the United Nations’ call for reliable electricity in health facilities, mainly focuses on maternal health challenges for expecting mothers and the organisation believes their intervention will go a long way in curbing incidence of infant mortality across Zimbabwe.

The organisation’s national director, Wadson Muchemwa, said maternal health was of paramount importance in their work and they will be installing a solar power suite at Chinyika clinic and at a disadvantaged household identified by the department of Social Welfare before year end, among other key humanitarian interventions in the district.

maternal health

“Maternal health is an integral component of our operations as ZEEF and we have since engaged the authorities towards the installation of a solar power suite at Chinyika clinic so that we lessen the burden for mothers who come to give birth at this facility. Also targeted to benefit is an identified household in the same ward,” he said.

“We are just working around the logistics and we hope to have the two solar power suites installed by mid-December. This is just the beginning of a very huge project and moving into the future, we are hoping to roll out the programme across Zimbabwe.”
Beyond providing sustainable solar power solutions, the project also seeks to protect the environment and empower disadvantaged communities through initiatives like poultry that require reliable power.

“We will be working with school clubs, planting trees among many other interventions to protect the environment,” he said.
According to the Sister-in-Charge at Chinyika Clinic, identified as Maremera, there is no sufficient power supply at the clinic, leading to difficulties in operating during the night. Shortage of power supply has brought challenges to the expecting mothers as they have to bring their own lights or candles to the clinic.

“It’s a difficult situation for the expecting mothers as they have to deal with power challenges here. While some bring their own lighting system, other families cannot afford them and this often puts the expecting mothers at danger as they require extra care during the process of giving birth,” she said.

During a tour of the clinic to benefit from their maternal health programme intervention last week, ZEEF officials also handed over $6 200 worth of medical wares as a donation to the clinic.

The team, which was made up of Shanice Moyo and Gift Manjoro, who are both project officers, handed over six packets of adult pampers, a leg trainer, hollisters, two bathing chairs, a box of 72 sanitary wear for the maternity ward, a box of eight pairs reading glasses, a packet of cotton balls and other mixed medical instruments.

Moyo said the donation was their way of complementing government efforts towards improved health for all.

“Maternal health is important and so is the health of all citizens of Zimbabwe. As ZEEF we are playing our part in contributing to the health and well-being of ordinary Zimbabweans and we hope the solar power suite we will install will equally contribute to safe delivery by expecting mothers,” she said.

others die every day because clinics lack electrical power.

Zimbabwe and the entire Southern Africa region is currently facing critical power challenges and stakeholders have called for innovative power solutions that can help save lives during birth, while at the same time contributing to the growth of economies in developing countries.

ZEEF has partnered a United States-based organisation, We Care Solar, and Muchemwa said they were hoping for more resources as they seek to bring light to more mothers and health workers around the world.