Hope for expecting mothers
Although Namibia is on track to reach most of the targets set for other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), on MDG 4 (Reduce Child Mortality) and MDG 5 (Improve Maternal Health), Namibia is behind target. From 2010 to 2014, the infant mortality rate was 39 deaths per 1000 births, including 20 neonatal deaths and the target for MDG 2015 is 19. The maternal mortality rate was 358 deaths per 100,000 births and the MDG target for 2015 is 56. Major contributing factors include inadequate antenatal care, no health care at births especially for first time mothers, and late arrivals at maternity facilities, often only after complications have set in. At maternity waiting homes, expecting mothers will receive antenatal care, monitoring in a safe environment and timely transfer to the maternity ward. This care is accompanied by information on post-natal care and immunization. First Lady Madame Penehupifo Pohamba broke ground last year for the construction of the first maternity waiting home in the Okongo district in the Ohangwena Region. This facility is now almost complete and will accommodate up to 80 pregnant women The construction of the maternity waiting homes is a joint partnership between PARMaCM, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the European Union and the World Health Organization.