PARAMOUNT Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba has urged other traditional leaders to come up with by-laws that will compel expectant women from delivering at home.
He noted that it is important for all pregnant women to give birth at health facilities where there are skilled attendants and appropriate equipment.
The Paramount Chief said this, coupled with other measures such as access to family planning and going for post-natal care, can help reduce maternal and infant mortality rates.
The Mwine Lubemba said this in a speech read for him by Davis Chansa at the joint commemoration of the Safe Motherhood Week and the Child Health Week held at his palace in Mungwi.
He noted that Northern Province recorded 71 deaths due to childbirth complications, adding that two of the women were from Mungwi.
And Northern Province Minister, Leonard Mbao, who officiated at the joint commemoration, emphasised the need for the safety of women during childbirth through the provision of quality maternal, newborn and child health services.
Mr. Mbao also said the government is making progress towards effective universal health coverage which is in line with the UPND manifesto.
Meanwhile, Ms Jenifer Mijere, who represented the United Nations System in Zambia, noted the milestones the country has made toward achieving universal health coverage, particularly to ensure that women, newborns, and children have access to quality health care.
Ms. Mijere, who is a Fistula Analyst at the United Nations Population Fund called for more concerted efforts to ensure that no woman dies while giving birth.
Earlier, Clinton Health Access Initiative Programmes Manager, Martha Ndhlovu, said her organisation has been supporting the province to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation presented assorted gifts to selected women meant for among other things, going for early antenatal booking, and promoting facility delivery.