MOZAMBIQUE - Health & Education
Minister of Health, Mozambique
Alexandre Manguele studied Medicine at Eduardo Mondlane University, graduating in 1985. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Leeds, which he obtained in 1992. He is a public health specialist. Manguele began his career in public health in 1986 as the Director of Manica Provincial Hospital before managing hospitals in Pemba and Inhambane. He then served in various public health roles both nationally and regionally until being named Minister of Health in 2010.
These three illnesses have a major impact on the quality of health of Mozambicans, and therefore the Ministry of Health is concentrating on tackling them. To ensure that we have health staff specialized in dealing with these conditions we first need strong internal organization, and a social commitment to combat them. First, it is essential that people understand what these illnesses involve, how they spread, and how they can be prevented. Accordingly, the Ministry of Health has developed a very strong community action program in all provinces and districts over the past few years. Additionally, wherever there are health centers, there are designated community-health committees that represent community leaders and traditional medicine practitioners; in short, people known well in local public life, who also work with the health authorities. They allow for regular meetings to be held and for programs to be designed of relevance to the communities themselves. Together they spread the message that it is necessary for everybody to be informed and aware, so that all can make a personal contribution, with family and community, in combating disease through prevention.
One major success has been our program of increasing vaccination levels. For that program to succeed it is necessary for the public to understand what we are doing and why, as some mothers remain reluctant to bring their children for vaccination. When we conduct our campaigns we also deliver general health information regarding such topics as nutrition, and discuss preventative behavior to avoid contracting HIV, by promoting family planning. All of this requires considerable community commitment, which we have succeeded in winning. Roughly five years ago we introduced a new vaccine that allows us to prevent respiratory diseases. During 2013, we introduced a pneumococcal vaccine also to prevent respiratory diseases, and are working today to introduce the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in women. Finally, one of our biggest successes to date has been the fall in infant mortality from 144 (per 100,000 live births) in 1997 to 64 in 2011. We have basically cut infant mortality in half over the past decade.
We have been building more training centers. There is almost no province that lacks an institution for health sciences.Investment in education has increased by 30%, which is very important, and a great deal of effort has been invested by the Mozambican government to provide good-quality training centers in almost every region, province, and district.
The private sector has to be regarded as complementary to the public sector and we encourage its development. The health sector in Mozambique is basically dominated by the public sector, but we think that a strong intervention on the part of the private sector could help the country to develop rapidly. The presence of the private sector is necessary in the health sector because it by and large comes with the resources that allow it to install new technologies faster. This advanced technology will allow Mozambican doctors, nurses, and staff to learn from the experience of those professionals. The Mozambican public system will be able to develop faster because we are observing considerable interest, and we also have areas in which we favor the localization of these hospitals as a priority.
One of our greatest successes has been in combating the infant mortality rate. We have also registered good results in fighting malaria, and a reduction in cholera outbreaks over the past two years, particularly in Cabo Delgado and Nampula.
We are working to decrease the high maternal mortality rate by providing maternal and pre-natal medical facilities. To this end, we are training more staff and building more maternity facilities and surgeries in which we can perform cesarean deliveries. In terms of increasing women’s access to delivery by qualified personnel, the ratio of such deliveries has now reached about 63%, and is rising. The growth of maternity science and neo-natal care for women during the first 40 days is also contributing significantly.
MOZAMBIQUE - Health & Education
Minister of Education and Human Development,
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