Sixty-year-old Jessy Tembo is one of over 30 community volunteers who was recently trained by MDGi to promote health-seeking behaviour for pregnant women in Ndola district. As a member of the Neighbourhood Health Committee (NHC), Tembo spends time with mothers in the community, gently nudging them to ensure spaced pregnancies and to receive antenatal care.
After receiving training from MDGi, I am able to notice danger signs in pregnant women and encourage them to go to the clinic. What makes me happy is to see an improvement in the lives of children. As an NHC member, I also encourage pregnant women to register early at the antenatal clinic so that they receive care and avoid complications with the pregnancy.
Jessy Tembo, community volunteer in Ndola District
The role of volunteers such as Tembo is to remedy misconceptions about public health, help families see the benefits of reproductive health care and encourage behaviour change.
Of the 14 countries in Africa benefitting from EU-UN partnership, Zambia has received the second largest contribution totaling €48.5 million.
MDGi trained over 12 000 community volunteers providing services at different points in the life cycle in 11 districts in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces.
52 health facilities have been refurbished and equipped in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces where 30% of the Zambian population is living.
Thanks to the funding of the European Union, the number of delivery beds in the maternity ward has more than doubled from 2 to 5 beds. MDGi has also provided 10 new hospital beds and medical equipment such as a new resuscitator and a suction machine which, together with the 'mama kits', has increased the number of women delivering in a health centre.
Sister-in-charge of the Chipulukusu Community Health Centre, Ms Prisca Chitomfwa