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Why were we there?

  • Endemic/epidemic disease

Our work

  • Only four out of ten women giving birth at healthcare facilities in Zambia’s Northern province have a skilled health worker present, according to national health authorities.
  • The situation is worst in rural areas. In Luwingu district, Northern province, a remote and isolated place, many deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are preventable. Delays in referrals, long distances to health centres and a lack of qualified staff all contribute to loss of life.


Obstetric and maternal care

  • A maternal health programme was started by Médecins Sans Frontières in Luwingu district in 2010. Teams provide family planning, ante- and postnatal care and assist births at Luwingu district hospital and seven rural health centres.
  • Emergency obstetric referrals are made from clinics to the hospital, where 163 caesarean sections were performed in 2012. A surgical team also offers fistula repair.
  • Included in the comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services is prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). The Médecins Sans Frontières team also conducts awareness and educational activities to reduce stigma regarding HIV, which often prevents people from seeking assistance, and encourages them to come to the centres for testing and treatment.


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Médecins Sans Frontières have worked in the country since 1999 to 2013.