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The Maternal and Infant Health Initiative (MIHI) aims to implement a strategically-coordinated system for delivering maternal and infant health services across the continuum of care—one rural district at a time—in Zambia.
The statistics on the health of women and children in Zambia are staggering. The maternal mortality ratio in Zambia is 729 per 100,000; maternal disability is 30 times higher. The country’s infant mortality rate is many times that of the developed world, which is tragic given the preventable nature of many of these deaths. The majority of women give birth with no access to emergency obstetrical or newborn care. There are fewer than 20 practicing obstetricians for a population of over 11 million and less than 50% of hospitals, and none of the rural health centers, have the capacity to provide comprehensive emergency obstetrical and newborn care.
In 2006, the Division began working in Zambia through its Maternal and Infant Health Initiative (MIHI). MIHI grew out of an on-going strong collaboration between the First Lady of Zabia, Zabian health agencies, Zambian hospitals and health professional schools, and several Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals; who all work closely with local Zambian communities.
MIHI's work during its four years focused efforts to lower maternal and infant morbidity and disability rates in Zambia's Central Province - specifically, the 300,000 population Kapiri Mposhi District.
MIHI's major activities included:
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