First lady Esther Lungu has urged expectant mothers to desist from using herbal medicines and seek conventional medicines. Mrs Lungu said heavy dependency on herbs causes a lot of medical complications to unborn babies especially among women in rural areas.

Speaking when she visited Nyimba District Hospital today, Mrs Lungu expressed concern that a number of expectant mothers prefer taking herbs instead of going to health facilities for medical treatment when they get sick.

Mrs Lungu has since called for enhanced sensitization among women to discard the use of herbal medicines and attend antenatal clinic in order to ensure safe deliveries. The First lady also urged health workers at the hospital to work hard in providing quality health care services to the people despite the many challenges facing health facilities across the country. Mrs Lungu observed that health workers are targets of criticism in the country but urged them to ensure that they deliver quality health services regardless of such criticisms.

The first lady also donated mealie meal and beverages to patients at the health facility. Earlier, Nyimba Hospital Doctor in-Charge Mubbuna Malambo said the biggest challenge to maternal health is that most expectant mothers seek antenatal services when their pregnancies are in advanced stages making it difficult for health workers to treat them.

Dr. Malambo pointed out that if expectant mothers start seeking antenatal services early enough, health service workers can detect and treat problems in good time. He also regretted that mothers in the district have stopped taking their children for under five. Dr. Malambo also noted that Nyimba District Hospital does not offer specialized medical services and that complicated cases are referred to Katete’s St. Francis Mission Hospital.

He further pointed out that Nyimba hospital, which also acts as an urban clinic and has a catchment area of 114, 000 people faces challenges of inadequate bed space both in the female and children’s wards. Dr Malambo said this leads to patients sharing beds in the wards. He also stated that the health facility is being supported by ten clinics that are overwhelmed in trying to provide health care services to people.

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