USA: Angola improves maternal mortality indicators

Angola has registered, in the last five years, substantial improvements in the field of institutional maternal mortality, going from 377 to 104 per 100 thousand live births.

The data was presented on Thursday, in New York, United States of America, by the minister of Health, Sílvia Lutucuta, for whom this reality is due to investments made in health infrastructures.

According to the government official, who was speaking at a meeting on “Universal Health Coverage: Expanding our ambition for health and well-being in a post-Covid-19 world”, the country built during this period 163 new health units.

According to the minister, who is part of the Angolan delegation in the Debate of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, the Executive has made strong investments in primary health care.

Along with this investment and to guarantee its efficiency, she stated, 41,093 new professionals were included in public services, an increase of 40% of the total workforce.

She stated that these investments will increase access and resolution capacity in the Health System, and highlighted the fact that all of this is reflected in the improvement of maternal and child health indicators.

According to the minister, estimates from the United Nations Statistics Division, from 2015 to 2020, point to a significant reduction in the mortality rate in children under 5 years of age.

Specifically, stated Sílvia Lutucuta, Angola went from 175 to 75 cases of mortality in every thousand live births in the aforementioned period.

She said that the country has also invested in the introduction of new technologies, namely in cold chain equipment powered by solar energy, digital platforms for managing logistics and public health interventions, telemedicine and telehealth, to increase the provision of healthcare in remote areas.

The exemption from customs duties on the import of medicines and medical products, and the increase in taxes on tobacco, spirits and sugary drinks also constitute, according to the government official, part of the measures that the country adopts to optimize and increase financial resources for the sector.

However, Sílvia Lutucuta assumed that the population’s access to health services is still limited, with financial, geographic, sociocultural and organizational barriers remaining that limit access to people, mainly in rural and urban areas.

In another area, she said that the government is working to increase, in the short and medium term, the sector’s budget, in order to guarantee the population’s right to health.

Therefore, she stated, the Government of Angola expresses its support for the Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage to be adopted by the General Assembly and recognizes health as an unavoidable factor in sustainable global development and social justice.

She also stated that the country is deeply committed to the United Nations mission of promoting peace, development and international cooperation, seeking to respond, in a pertinent, effective and holistic way, to the challenges of the social sector.

Recognized that strengthening the health system, particularly people-centered primary health care that responds to people’s needs, plays a critical role in achieving universal health coverage.

“We also recognize that, by strengthening Primary Health Care, we will be better prepared and resilient to respond efficiently and effectively to public health emergencies and natural disasters”, she concluded.

The General Debate of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly, in which the Angolan President, João Lourenço participated, ends on the 26th of this month.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

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