New hospital equipment for safe pregnancies and deliveries.
by Jessie Forsyth, Project Director
Over the past month, the Mozambique-Canada Maternal Health Project has been working hard to distribute priority MCH hospital equipment and provide on-site training at the 7 new health facilities built by the project and their two main referral hospitals. Project staff first consulted with health workers at the health facilities to compile a list of equipment and supplies required to promote safe labour and delivery then embarked on procurement. With all equipment now in hand, we can complete the process of getting it all into use.
In July, we had the honour of officially handing the referral hospital equipment over to the Inhambane Province Secretary of State, Dr. Ludmila Maguni, in a ceremony with government representatives and health partners. Mozambique’s national newspaper, Jornal Notícias, covered the story, quoting Dr. Maguni who affirmed that “the equipment is fundamental for babies who are born premature or with health complications or who need rapid response to guarantee stable health”.
Major items for emergency newborn care at the referral hospitals include new incubators, heaters, infant resuscitation beds and regular nursery beds. The new rural health centres now have access to portable ultrasound equipment for early diagnosis of obstetrical complications, and cryotherapy equipment for cervical cancer screening and prevention. Smaller – but no less important – items include wheel chairs, stretchers, blood pressure monitors, speculums, lamps, and blankets.
We have been delivering other equipment directly to the 7 new health facilities. Recently, we delivered equipment to the rural health centre in Tevele, Massinga. This new health facility has a maternity ward, outpatient care, a pharmacy, and a small maternity waiting home for pregnant women awaiting delivery who would otherwise need to travel long distances. The equipment delivered will help health workers keep women and babies safe during pregnancy, labour and delivery, and in the post-partum period.
Many thanks to everyone involved in all the different areas of this project – community engagement, strengthening health systems, knowledge production and dissemination – for making activities like this possible. At its best, each aspect of project implementation – like, in this instance, the provision of hospital supplies – involves all areas and actors for the most meaningful impact, touching the lives of women and their families in Inhambane province.