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Maputo, 21 July 2022 - During a handover ceremony at the Pemba Medicines Depot in Cabo Delgado, the UK Government in collaboration with UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, handed over an ambulance boat and a mobile clinic with surgical capacity to the local authorities. The ambulance boat and the mobile clinic were funded by the British High Commission in Mozambique, under the Joint Programme to Improve Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (SRMNIA).

This is a five-year program that aims to ensure greater access to reproductive, maternal and child health services and improve the quality of interventions for users, primarily the most marginalized women, adolescents and children. The program is funded by the UK as part of its partnership with Mozambique to address various health challenges. Technical partners are the United Nations Population Agency (UNFPA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The program was launched by the Ministry of Health (MISAU) of the Republic of Mozambique in May 2017.

British High Commissioner to Mozambique NneNne Iwuji said:

"This ambulance boat will increase access to women's and adolescent health including reproductive health for the population of Ibo district. Improving access to reproductive health brings many benefits, such as reduction in maternal mortality, reduction in infant mortality, and improvement in women's health. The benefits expand to other sectors such as education, ensuring that girls stay in school and creating more opportunities for greater participation in the labor force. Aware of the challenges that insecurity brings, we are committed to collaborating with Cabo Delgado province so that women and adolescents continue to have access to health services. This is one of the initiatives that the UK has supported over the past five years to strengthen the health system through the disbursement of £24.5 million."

This additional support will serve as a referral vehicle for the National Health Service especially for the population of Ibo Island, where there was a lack of adequate health services to carry out life-saving health interventions. It will continue to help vulnerable women and girls from remote areas affected by Cyclone Kenneth and the conflict in Cabo Delgado to access urgent medical services, including emergency obstetric and neonatal care. This project also took into consideration critical aspects for a plural response. This response has particularly included quality service delivery components at the primary health care level, the initial training of maternal and child health nurses, the equipping and strengthening of Health Units with medical and surgical equipment and material, the acquisition of 53 ambulances, the establishment of Hygiene, Water and Sanitation conditions in the Health Centers. The acquisition of contraceptives as well as the issues of quality improvement in the provision of services in the communities by the Elementary Multipurpose Agents and Traditional Midwives were also part of this funding.

Due to the devastation caused by Cyclone Kenneth, health facilities were extremely impacted, damaged and destroyed, cutting off many vulnerable communities' access to health services and road connections. This scenario is being exacerbated by the current conflict that has been affecting the populations and creating thousands of displaced people aggravating social and economic inequalities to these already needy populations, but in particular women, children and girls.

Bérangère Boëll Resident Representative of UNFPA, will participate in the ceremony to reinforce the commitment of the United Nations to support the Ministry of Health to continue providing medical services to vulnerable populations in Cabo Delgado affected by Cyclone Kenneth last year and the current insecurity in the region. "Through this collaboration, together as partners, we are better able to provide life-saving medical care, contributing to the prevention of maternal and child mortality and morbidity," she states.


Notes to the editor:

About UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund

UNFPA is the sexual and reproductive health agency of the United Nations. Our mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and the potential of every young person is fulfilled. UNFPA calls for the realization of reproductive rights for all and supports access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services - including voluntary family planning, maternal health care and comprehensive sexuality education.

For more information please contact:
Karlina Salu, +258 84-056-0246, / Jessica Lomelin,