In Matero, a poor neighborhood of Lusaka in Zambia, affordable, quality healthcare can be hard to come by. Many residence live on the mainstream economy’s fringes, eking out a hand-to-mouth existence in the informal economy. When they need reproductive healthcare services, they have few options, and what exists is often poor-quality.
That’s why earlier this year, MSI opened a new Health Care Unit in Matero. These mini-centers are smaller than our usual MSI centers, but they offer the same high-quality, affordable services that women depend on.
Before MSI arrived in the neighborhood, women in Matero depended on a public facility where there were over 10,000 women for every doctor available. These low-income women are mostly domestic workers and workers in the informal economy, with little disposable income to spend at private clinics elsewhere in the city. Now that MSI’s Health Care Unit has opened, they have another option close to home.
Lizzie Banda, an MSI nurse, speaks to a client.
The Health Care Unit offers services like contraception, cervical cancer screening and treatment, comprehensive abortion care, ultrasound services, and basic rapid tests for everything from HIV to malaria. Some of these services, like safe abortion and cervical cancer treatment, weren’t readily available before MSI came to the neighborhood. On opening day, the MSI team offered free blood pressure checks and weight checks while introducing women to the services the Health Care Unit would offer.
The Matero Ward Councilor, Ms. Anne Chinyanta, was on site for the official opening. She said, “As a woman, I must mention that I am indeed very glad that MSI has brought its cost-effective healthcare services closer to the women of Matero."
Kwesi Formsom, the Country Director for MSI Zambia, shared the impact the Health Care Unit will have for women in the community. “It will mean consistent access to quality and choice of reproductive health services and confidential, affordable, and timely care provision.”