Zambia: Rural women travel over 15km for health services

Dr Alfred Mwiinga, weighs one of the babies brought to the health clinic in Luili village, central Zambia.
Dr Alfred Mwiinga, weighs one of the babies brought to the health clinic in Luili village, central Zambia.

Access to health care is a priority the world over and in Northern Ireland we are lucky to have resources within easy reach.

For people living in rural Zambia, accessing health care often requires walking many miles to attend clinics.

Family members wait outside the Luili health clinic beside the ox-driven cart which was used to bring a pregnant woman in labour to the clinic.  She later had a healthy baby girl.

Family members wait outside the Luili health clinic beside the ox-driven cart which was used to bring a pregnant woman in labour to the clinic. She later had a healthy baby girl.

In the Mumbwa district, while there is a hospital in the main town, there are smaller clinics in the outlying areas.

During our visit to the district, we visited one of these health clinics in Luili, an hour’s journey from Mumbwa by car, which is benefitting from Concern Worldwide’s help.

Concern’s RAIN project in Zambia is focussing on eliminating chronic malnutrition in children.

Weekly weigh-ins are held in Luili for mothers to bring their children to, with chidren’s weights being monitored and advice on nutrition provided if children are showing signs of malnutrition.

Dr Alfred Mwiinga has been with the clinic - which services a population of over 8,000 - since 2004 and says he has seen a vast reduction in the number of cases of malnutrition since the RAIN project began in 2011.

“When I started here, malnutrition cases would have been quite high,” Dr Mwiinga said.

He added: “With support from Concern, we have been educating the community on malnutrition and eating more nutritious foods.

“There has been a great reduction in the number of children with malnutrition.”