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Pregnant Women across the DRC Offered Free Healthcare to Cut Maternal and Neonatal Deaths

Women in 13 out of 26 regions in the country will, by the end of the year, be entitled to free services during pregnancy and for one month after childbirth. Babies will receive free healthcare for their first 28 days under the scheme, which the government plans to extend to the rest of DRC – although there is no timetable for that yet. The scheme was initially launched in the capital, Kinshasa, in September, but is now being rolled out to more of the country, including in eastern DRC, which has been blighted by years of conflict. The health ministry said it is spending $42m on the scheme, which is the first part of a $200m programme for prenatal, maternal and neonatal care. It said it was using radio, television to inform women about the free services.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN