Plans are underway to provide Ngamiland residents with two fully-fledged mobile maternal clinics. The development is a relief to the residents, most of whom are in areas with no maternal health services, leading to pregnant women having to travel long distances to access the same.
This was revealed by health ministry’s senior consultant Dr Morrison Sinvula in Maun recently. According to Sinvula, the two clinics, a boat and a truck will be delivered in two phases, with the boat delivered last.
Sinvula explained that due to the vastness of Ngamiland, some pregnant women are in areas that can only be accessed by boats. Such places, like Xaxaba, Tubu and Mababe/Khwai which he noted that even when flooding, can be easily accessed by boats.
He indicated that the development will help reduce maternal deaths in remote areas. According to Sinvula, the mobile clinic will be custom-built on a mid-sized truck frame consisting of a maternal and child care section.
“Women in semi-urban, rural and underserviced areas often die due to preventable complications during childbirth as they have no access to ultrasound screenings to detect critical conditions. Many of these deaths can be prevented with basic imaging technology used during pregnancy,” he said.
He further assured that the success of the pilot phase, will herald the roll out of more such facilities.
Boyei Ward Councilor Ntlogelang Kebonyekgotla said that while government has neglected the Ngamiland region for a long time, such development were welcome. However, he posited that poor roads were some of the factors that remain a challenge for the mobile clinic.
“For such trucks to sustain for a longer period, there should be good roads for smooth travel to far flung areas.”
Meanwhile a study from Statistics Botswana about the Maternal Mortality Ratio (2019) has revealed that 87 maternal deaths were reported in 2019 from 52 304 live births. The brief further stated that the country continues to experience high numbers of mothers giving births in urban and rural areas than in towns and cities. It further reveals that 97.2 % of deliveries are at urban villages and 90.2% in rural areas.