Maternal Health and Child Survival Rates in Zambia: A Comparative Community Study
Freund, P. J.
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This paper presents the summary results of maternal/reproductive data and child mortality patterns collected in two rural communities in Zambia. The data derives from an on-going, longitudinal study sponsored by the Government of Zambia and UNICEF. The purpose of the study is to evaluate and monitor the impact of Primary Health Care in remote rural areas with particular emphasis on women and children. A core sample of one hundred households in Luampungu, Western Province and Kabinga, Northern Province have been selected and monitored since 1982. The maternal and reproductive data on 111 mothers in Luampungu and 101 mothers in Kabinga is summarised. The results indicate that the combination of poor nutrition, high morbidity and environmental conditions result in a higher U-5 mortality and a high pregnancy wastage rate in Luampungu than Kabin8a. It is suggested that a percentage child survival rate calculated for each gravidity category can be a useful indicator for identifying ``at risk" women. Moreover, the index can be a useful complement to other community health status indicators . Finally, the importance of ante-natal clinic attendance, CHWS and health education to improved maternal health is stressed.