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Pleasanton high schooler improves the quality of life in Muchende Village - Zambia

Original post made by Krishnan Jagadheesh, Del Prado, on Aug 14, 2021

For years, the women of the Muchende village in the Mumbwa district in Zambia, have had no maternity services. Many of them ended up giving birth at home or on the way to the clinic because of the long distance (25 kilometers) to the nearest maternity services. Unfortunately, some mothers lost their babies just a few minutes after delivering. Tragically, some lost their lives too due to complications.

Traditional birth attendants, like Ms. Esther Makupi, a 50 year old woman, travelled from village to village to help the expectant mothers deliver with all inherent risks in the practice. Ms. Makupi stated,”Not having a hospital nearby is a great challenge. Getting a pregnant mother to a hospital on time is another challenge due to lack of transport. Many lost their babies soon after delivering.”

Sahana Ravishankar, an 11th grade student from Amador Valley High School, located in Pleasanton, California has partnered with a non-profit organization, Smart Villages Africa, to build a clinic and maternity center at a cost of $5000. The center was inaugurated on 22nd November, 2020 by Headwoman Ms. Joyce Mwambula and Dr. Geetha Shivraj.

During the inauguration function, Sahana added, ”I raised $5000 from well-wishers in the USA after I heard about the need for a maternity center in the Muchende village.” Sahana says she wants to inculcate a sense of social responsibility in youths globally to improve the lives of vulnerable people. Sahana adds that she is interested in the field of medicine and wants to become a physician in the future.

“I am happy to have contributed to this noble cause. It gives me great pleasure to increase my efforts in touching lives of the vulnerable,” she added. Sahana will continue to partner with Smart Villages Africa to develop village clusters in Zambia. Smart Villages Africa founder, Ms. Vriddagiri, stated, “My fellow women in Muchende village will no longer have to worry about covering long distances to go and deliver. This maternity facility, a safe and hygienic place with certified practitioners will enable them with easy access to maternal services.”

She also added,”Focus shall also be given to provide continuous education to the public on health.”

Dr. Shivraj added, “This is a remarkable development and it is important to get this access for pregnant women to eliminate maternal mortality rates.”

Senior Headwoman, Ms. Mwambula, says, “I am very happy that my fellow women will now have a safe facility to deliver from. The issue of maternal or infant mortality will now be a thing of the past.”

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