- First Lady of Mozambique Isaura Ferrão Nyusi welcomes a new baby at one of two hospitals that have recently been recognized for quality health services under the Model Maternities Initiative.
By Denise Alves
Maputo, Mozambique (March 17, 2015)—Isaura Ferrão Nyusi, Mozambique’s First Lady and the country’s Minister of Health, marked International Women’s Day by recognizing two hospitals for providing quality maternal, newborn and child health services under a program supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP).
Quissico District Hospital and Vilankulo Rural Hospital in Inhambane Province are the latest health facilities to be recognized for their work in implementing the Model Maternities Initiative (MMI), which aims to develop and advance quality health services for mothers, newborns and children. The MMI is being implemented in 125 health centers in collaboration with the government and with technical support from MCHIP, which is led by Jhpiego, an international non-profit and affiliate of Johns Hopkins University. Since 2011, more than 687,000 births have been attended by qualified health professionals in health facilities participating in the MMI.
“It was with great pleasure and honor that I received the invitation to be here today and participate in this Model Maternity accreditation,” First Lady Nyusi said during recognition ceremonies, which were held the week following International Women’s Day, March 8. “As a woman I could not be happier, because these ceremonies fall during the month-long celebrations honoring women and promoting their equality. Being a Model Maternity means that all women and children from this district will receive respectful care.”
- The First Lady is greeted by USAID Mission Director Dr. Alexander Dickie.
Dr. Nyusi invited all pregnant women “to come to the health center and to take advantage of prenatal care, as well as having their babies safe at the health center. To the women who already have babies, I invite them to come to the family planning services. These services are free and available to you.”
The recognition ceremony also included Dr. Alexander Dickie, USAID Mission Director for Mozambique, and Dr. Nazira Vali Abdula, Vice Minister of Health, as well as provincial and district government authorities, community committees, other partners and members of the community.
“The U.S. Government is proud to be a partner of the Government of Mozambique in the effort to improve the health of Mozambicans, especially women’s and children’s health,” Dr. Dickie told ceremony participants. “Today we celebrate the fruit of this strong partnership to reduce maternal and infant mortality. Official recognition of this maternity hospital as a Model Maternity, the fourth since the project started, reflects years of hard work and collaboration between USAID and the Ministry of Health in the expansion of model hospitals throughout Mozambique. By improving the quality and humanization of prenatal care in units such as this, we can encourage more Mozambican women to give birth in health facilities with the support of trained professionals and members of their families.”