The U of S brings ambulances and health care to Mozambique

University of Saskatchewan research projects span the globe, and one of those projects is in the province of Inhambane in Mozambique. It’s aim is to reduce maternal and newborn mortality rates and to improve sexual and reproductive health.

Principal investigator and USask epidemiologist, Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine says the maternal mortality rate is about 380 deaths per 100,000 live births as compared to Canada’s rate at five to six deaths per 100,000.

One of the challenges for these women is access to clinics. It’s a rural province and there aren’t many roads. That’s why 6 ambulances have been brought in. Three are conventional ambulances and three are local ambulances, which are motorcycles with a side car where the patient can lie down.

Dr. Muhajarine says they are also building maternal clinics and waiting homes for soon-to-be mothers as they get closer to giving birth, so they won’t have to worry about how to get to the clinic in these remote areas.

Another goal is to provide upgraded, gender-sensitive first aid and emergency training for health workers, taking into consideration cultural sensitivities.

Saskatchewan has a history with Mozambique. Dr. Muhajarine says since 1999 there have been four projects of three to five years each before this current five year project, funded by the federal government.


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