By Jessie Forsyth, Project Director Canada-Mozambique Maternal Health Project
At such an uncertain time globally, with so many communities facing unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canada-Mozambique Maternal Health Project is proud to report that a key programming area continues to progress well: the construction of rural maternity clinics and maternal waiting homes.
Throughout February and March, as the novel coronavirus gained momentum outside of Mozambique, the project team worked hard to ensure that all construction projects got up and running as planned. This included 4 new maternity clinics, 3 new maternal waiting homes, and 1 renovated nursery. By the end of construction, each of our 5 target districts – Zavala, Homoine, Morrumbene, Massinga, and Vilankulo – will enjoy new health infrastructure in under-served rural communities.
One of the construction projects that is progressing very well, and holds especial meaning for our project, is the maternity clinic in our long-standing partner community of Tevele, Massinga. The community members who participate in Tevele’s health committee have been working in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan for over 15 years, building a healthier community by addressing a range of health determinants. For just as long, they’ve been working with the Massinga Health Training Centre’s students and teachers in mutual learning processes around health issues and gender. Numerous UofS medical, nursing, and health science students have also collaborated with the Tevele community over the years, each of whom have contributed to the ongoing solidarity of global health partnerships between Canada and Mozambique. Now, we’re able to augment that solidarity through the provision of a health centre, in a community that’s been preparing for its arrival – through long-term health promotion and community organizing work – over all those years.
A very warm thanks to everyone who’s been a part of the UofS-Mozambique partnership. You’ve each played an important role in reaching this point. Viva!