Malawi maternal mortality rate reduced – Chief Kwataine

Presidential Initiative on Safe Motherhood and Maternal Health chairperson Senior Chief Kwataine has painted a rosy picture on reducing the country’s maternal mortality rate 

Chief Kwataine reported that since the launch of the Presidential Initiative on Safe motherhood and maternal health  last year  by President Joyce Banda, there has been a reduction in the maternal mortality from 675 out of 100,00 to 460 out of 100,00 women dying during childbirth.

As the deadline for reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, Kwataine is confident that Malawi will meet its target by 2015.

Kwataine continues to crisscross Malawi in an effort to mobilise communities through their traditional leaders on safe motherhood.

Pres. Banda with chiefs on  safe-motherhood  campaign

Pres. Banda with chiefs on safe-motherhood campaign

He told about 300 traditional leaders in Ntchisi in the areas of T.A. Chilooko and T.A. Malenga to put strong measures in place so that every woman must deliver in hospital and not use traditional birth attendants.

Kwataine said under the Safemotherhood program, the government aim to increase the number of deliveries attended by skilled healthcare officials, thus reducing the maternal mortality rate.

“It is encouraging how the people in Ntchisi have embraced family planning, I am especially impressed that there are secret mothers and growth monitors that are able to offer support and advise pregnant women,” he said.

“I want to assure you that our   aim is to bring those numbers even lower to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals but we will have to work hard at all levels for us to succeed, the strides that have been taken however thus far have proved that it can be done especially if you have good leadership and you involve communities,” said Kwataine.

President Banda has been championing the ‘No woman should die giving birth campaign’.

Kwataine said the Banda administration has put in place some interventions such as health education, distribution of free insecticide treated nets to pregnant women and children under five, expansion of outreach maternal and child health programmes aimed at achieving zero maternal mortality.

Speaking at the training session, the District Nursing Officer (DNO) Chrissie Bwazi told the traditional leaders that while the maternal mortality rate in the country has reduced it was important to note that Nchisi district which is a large district only has a total of 47 nurses so the shortage of trained personnel was a big challenge.

“We are grateful for the four nurses we received but we also urgently need an ambulance for Kangolwa health center which is in the area of TA Kasakula and is 60 kilometers from the district hospital,” she said.

The DNO also said there is a great need to build waiting shelters in Malomo, Chinguluwe and Kangolwa because of the congestion of expectant mothers in those areas.

In his training of traditional leaders Senior Chief Kwataine has reached thousands of communities from Nsanje to Chitipa. Recently in New York at a summit he reached out to Oprah Winfrey to visit Malawi and support girls education.

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