Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has advised women in Salima not to get pregnant just because of a desire to use the new maternity wing constructed at Salima District Hospital.
Chiponda said this when she presided over the handover of the maternity wing which has been constructed by InPATH.
She urged women in the district to continue using family planning methods.
“The coming of the new maternity wing doesn’t license for more pregnancies just to use the new facility,” she said.
According to Chiponda, Salima District Hospital is one of the busiest maternity units in the country with an average of 600 normal deliveries per month (ranging from 463 to 635).
The old labour ward had five delivery beds while the new one has fifteen separate cubicles for delivery each with its own hand-washing basin.
“The cubicles promote privacy, respect, dignity and comfort which are key to respectful maternity care. Mothers and their partner or birth companion will be happy with such cubicles,” the minister said.
The labour ward section has 2 toilets and bathrooms with an additional 2 showers and 3 toilets in the postnatal ward unlike the past when mothers had to wait to go to postnatal to have a bath.
The ward has a separate room that has been dedicated for autoclaving equipment and supplies. A big autoclave has been provided which will allow the labour ward to have constant supply of sterile delivery packs.
There is also a sleeping bay for the Clinical Officer on Call and this will ensure timely management of patients as time that would have been spent to walk to the labour ward (from home) is no longer necessary.
The postnatal ward has been expanded from 32 beds to 51 beds, with a separate postnatal room for post-caesarean section patients. Equally, the neonatal nursery and Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) rooms have been extended to increase room for the babies.
Furthermore, there now is an access from labour ward to theatre to ease movement of patients between the two departments.
Chiponda has since urged Member of Parliament of the area, District Council and Traditional leaders to ensure that they take good care of the facility and have proper maintenance plan for the facility.