Philips partners with Hospital Rural de Chokwe as the launch site in a new maternal health program for rural Mozambique
- Philips demonstrates consistent commitment to reducing child mortality and improving maternal health - Project will create an essential blueprint to save the lives of pregnant women and newborn babies in rural areas of the country
August 14, 2014
Gaza Province, Mozambique – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) in conjunction with Hospital Rural de Chokwe (HRC) has initiated a yearlong project to create an emergency care blueprint in rural areas to manage high risk pregnancies and preventable complications related to childbirth. The aim of the project, which will initially cover Chokwe, Buzi and Namapa districts, is to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in rural public health facilities. To launch the project, Philips has entirely refurbished the maternity ward of HRC; this new maternity ward was officially inaugurated today by officials from the Ministry of Health and the Province of Gaza.
In January 2014, Philips signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Mozambique (MISAU) committing to work in close collaboration with MISAU to launch a rural healthcare initiative that would address the needs of the local community - specifically related to maternal and neonatal care. The overall project aims to provide infrastructure to facilitate remote and mobile diagnosis in rural areas of Mozambique through the refurbishment of health facilities.
Philips will support the program with the contribution of medical equipment (including ultrasounds, patient and fetal monitors, ventilators, and Bilirubin), servicing and technical management of the equipment and on-going healthcare professional training. Education and training of healthcare professionals will be central to the success and sustainability of the program. In addition, Philips will provide a dedicated on the ground Program Manager to support all aspects of the pilot.
HRC currently has 41 beds in the maternity ward (including delivery beds) and recorded 4,546 births in 2013; the ante-natal clinic currently sees between 10 to 12 women a day. Conditions and complications like eclampsia, anaemia, malaria and obstructed labour are responsible for the deaths of mothers that through early diagnosis and treatment are largely preventable.
“Philips has always put a lot of emphasis on maternal and child health. This program is intended to increase the number of women seeking healthcare, the ability of the local healthcare facilities to attend to these women’s needs, and to reduce mortality rates due to availability of early screening. We are delighted to collaborate with the Hospital Rural de Chokwe and play our part in improving the delivery of healthcare in Mozambique; and in creating a successful program which can be rolled out across the country and beyond” commented Jose Fernandes, General Manager Philips Healthcare Southern Africa.
The need for better and more efficient healthcare infrastructure including clinical training is underlined in the Fabric of Africa Trends Report and infographic on healthcare services across Africa; commissioned by Philips. The report reflects that mortality rates for women and children in Africa continue to rise and are amongst the highest in the world due to a lack of adequate healthcare services.
Clinical Education and Training
In many African countries including Mozambique, there is a chronic shortage of suitable equipment or necessary skills to ensure safe delivery and appropriate new born care. In addition to the collaboration with Hospital Rural de Chokwe, Philips will also train health workers from two other project sites, namely Hospital de Namapa and Hospital Rural de Buzi.
“At Philips we strive to improve the quality of lives and healthcare in Africa. We believe this goal can be achieved best when approached from a broad, holistic, structural perspective; not only by providing hardware and financial support, but also by providing access to education, sharing of best practices, knowledge transfer and improved collaboration between public and private stakeholders. Since 2011 Philips has trained over 2,500 healthcare professionals during its annual pan-African Cairo to Cape Town roadshow and clinical education and healthcare training continues to remain a priority.” states Jose Fernandes.
Marlene Cuco, advisor for Gender and Social Affairs and spokesperson for MISAU agrees. “The partnership between MISAU and Philips is a form of public-private collaboration that has been highly encouraged by the government, to improve services in various sectors, particularly healthcare. We hope this project will improve quality of health services, overall satisfaction of patients and health workers and ultimately be replicated in all health posts in the country,” she concludes.
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR 23.3 billion and employs approximately 113,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.
· HRC treats the district of Chokwe, but also the North Zone, namely Guija, Mabalane, Massingir, Chicualacuala, Massangea and Chigubo.
· HRC is divided into four main sections: maternity, surgery, medicine, and paediatrics. HRC provides services in emergency care, radiology, physical therapy, dentistry, ophthalmology, orthopaedics and psychiatry. It contains a blood bank, a laboratory and a pharmacy.
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