Blooms reduces risk for mums in Zambia

Rabecca Luumuno and her five month old daughter Ester
Rabecca Luumuno and her five month old daughter Ester meet Blooms partners

Blooms The Chemist has just helped build a new maternity ward to help local women in Zambia

The project is the latest in Blooms’ initiatives undertaken as part of its corporate social responsibility program, the group says.

The new maternity ward and women’s shelter was constructed at a health centre in the village of Simonga, near Livingstone in Zambia’s south.

Blooms The Chemist General Manager of Merchandise and Marketing Pamela Bishop said that prior to its opening, women from surrounding villages had to walk up to 11km while in labour to reach the health centre.

“These women faced significant risks on their journey to the centre, including the possibility of giving birth on the side of the road and threats from wild animals,” Pamela said.

“On reaching the centre, they had to give birth in the main clinic which exposed mothers and their newborns to the risk of infection and contamination due to sharing the facilities with sick patients.”

The project was managed by charitable organisation The Butterfly Tree, which is now focused on encouraging expectant mothers to travel to the health centre before going into labour and using the accommodation facilities and dedicated birthing centre.

At Blooms The Chemist’s recent 2019 partner conference, which was held in Africa, delegates had the opportunity to attend the official opening of the new maternity ward, as well as interact with nearby communities and visit a local school.

Pamela said Blooms The Chemist’s CSR plan had grown from community support in the areas where stores operated, to making a significant contribution to Make-A-Wish Australia, and now to supporting global communities.

“We are working hard to have a positive impact on society and are proud of the contributions we’ve been able to make so far,” she said.

“That includes contributing more than $600,000 to Make-A-Wish Australia, as well as a significant amount to local community and sporting groups across Australia.

“We are also working on a more comprehensive CSR program that will enable us to support various important initiatives in our local communities as Blooms The Chemist continues its growth across Australia.”

Blooms The Chemist COO Jason Blanchard said the growth of the group’s CSR activities fitted well with its philosophy.

“We strive to put people first in all we do through the way we engage with customers and partners, to our various community and charitable initiatives,” Jason said.

“Given the growth of our business, we need to consider what we can do on a global community scale and that’s why we are so excited and pleased to have been able to help the village of Simonga.”

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