UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has made a pledge to women to provide additional support for expectant mothers if he is elected into office on 12 August 2021.

“Under our watch, no woman will have to carry the so-called “maternity pack” to a hospital. Women will give birth in hygienic conditions as we will spend money on health from savings made from our zero tolerance policy to corruption,” the aspiring presidential candidate has announced.

Zambia has a high rate of maternal and prenatal deaths, with around 15 women dying each week due to pregnancy related causes. Neonatal mortality rates also remain high, constituting over 40% of deaths under the age of five.

The health sector has come under further strain in recent months as a result of the COVID pandemic. It has also been hit by the HoneyBee Pharmacy scandal in which the company was awarded a contract worth $17 million in June 2020, despite not being an officially registered company at the time. Numerous products supplied by the company have since been subject to recall, including mouldy paracetamol and leaky condoms.

Hichilema has previously called for justice for the victims of the scandal, expressing concern that not enough is being done to make sure those affected will be supported and that those responsible will be held to account for their crimes.


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