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Making progress: Operating theatre for Namuno

The mortality rate of pregnant women and newborns in Mozambique is among the highest in the world. The first operating theatre in the remote district of Namuno will be opened this year to improve the situation.

The foundation stone of the operating theatre was laid in an official ceremony on 12 November last year.

The foundation was poured by local workers by hand. Well Visible are the iron bars and cables for the supporting columns.

At the turn of the year the roof slab of the operating theatre was concreted and the electrical cables were protected. 

The foundation stone of the operating theatre was laid in a festive ceremony on 12 November last year. This will benefit around 22,000 mothers and newborns in Namuno district each year, who are at high risk of complications during childbirth. There is no possibility of emergency surgical care for mothers and newborns in the form of caesarean sections, removal of infected uterus and resuscitation of premature babies.

The nearest surgical facility is currently still in Montepuez. It is overloaded and can only be reached in three hours on uneven roads.

The building is scheduled to open at the end of June 2020. In the second half of 2020 the equipment will be installed and the technical staff will be trained. With the two operating theatres being built, not only the population of the Namuno district will benefit, but also women in the neighbouring districts of Balama and Montepuez and even women from the neighbouring province of Niassa will benefit from the fact that operations are possible in Namuno.

One reason for the high mortality rate among women in Mozambique is that almost half of all pregnant women give birth at home, without medical care. In case of complications, they are too late to the health centre, as in many places there are no transport facilities available. They are transported on bicycles or have to walk while in labour.