Mbabane: The Ministry of Health on Monday received medical equipment worth over E9.5 Million towards Phase II of the Taiwan Maternal and Infant Improvement project.
The equipment was received by the Mister of Health Lizzie Nkosi. According to the minister, the project aims to increase the accessibility of maternal and infant health care services in the country.
The minister stated that Phase I of the project received support worth over E6 Million and started in 2016 in the Manzini Region while Phase II began in 2019 and covers 85 health facilities in the country. Among the donated equipment are ultrasound machines, radiant warmers and, vital signs monitors.
Minister Nkosi said Government acknowledges and appreciates the support and cooperation between the government of Taiwan and Eswatini. Nkosi said the relationship has seen a number of initiatives that have contributed immensely to the betterment of the Eswatini Nation in various other sectors.
According to the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) website the Maternal and Infant Health Care Improvement Project (Phase II) in the Kingdom of Eswatini is aimed at improving maternal and child health which is also a key objective of Eswatini’s National Development Strategy. It also states that the biggest challenge faced by Eswatini was a lack of comprehensive maternal and infant healthcare from pregnancy through delivery to postnatal care, which also makes it difficult to detect high-risk pregnancies to then provide appropriate care and reduce preterm labor and neonatal mortality.
Handing over the equipment Taiwan Ambassador Jeremy Liang said this project successfully increased the rate for women who received postnatal care within 7-14 days after delivery in the targeted areas from 22% in 2016 to 90% in 2019.”
Worth noting is that the TaiwanICDF cooperated with Chiayi Christian Hospital, Eswatini Ministry of Health, and Swaziland Nazarene Health Institution (SNHI) since 2016, to assist SNHI in improving the maternal and infant health care capacity of Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital (RFMH) and its six affiliated primary clinics in the Manzini region.
Based on the phase I experience, the project is expected to expand the scope to cover the selected health facilities throughout the whole country. The project aim is to improve the institutional capacity for maternal and infant health care by Enriching health care personnel with knowledge in high-risk group care, Upgrading the functions of health care facilities, Strengthening maternal and infant health care education in the communities, and Enhancing data analysis capacity.