Malawi private sector urged to take lead on maternal progress

Private sector has been encouraged to take a leading role on improving maternal health and safe motherhood progress by investing in its interventions if the country’s attainment is to be fast tracked.

Currently, Malawi’s Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) for is at 675 per 100,000 live births. studies reveals untimely access to maternity and neonatal health care, inadequate skilled labor, infrastructure burdens, lack of quality service, and long distance to nearest health facility as some of the hindrances to improved maternal attainment.

As mitigation measures the Initiative is implementing several interventions to accelerate and improve the quality of maternal delivery services as well as reduce maternal and neonatal deaths through community mobilizations,  training of chiefs, increasing the number of trained nurses and constructing maternity waiting shelters country wide.

Deputy Minister of Health Halima Daudi made the remarks when she officially opened a two day Presidential Initiative on Maternal health and Safe Motherhood stakeholders consultative workshop intended to increase skilled attendance at birth as one critical strategy to addressing and in improving the maternal and child health status in the country last Wednesday, at National Organization of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi (NONM).

Daudi

“The Initiative’s sole drive that is aimed at accelerating the reduction of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality as it strives to increase availability, accessibility, utilization and quality of skilled obstetric care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period at all levels of the health care delivery system,” she said.

On the other hand, Daudi reiterated the need for Government and all partners to strengthen the capacity of Chiefs who are leading the Initiatives goal to speed up improvement of the Maternal and Neonatal Health.

She echoed that the Initiative is not only focusing on improving the delivery of health outcomes for women but also addressing the root causes of poor maternal health and the high maternal mortality ratios.

UNFPA country representative Mrs Jean Mwandira, said disclosed that maternal health and safe motherhood issues needs concerted efforts to be addressed wholly. She then called upon all players to assist the Initiative to implement its interventations in areas of beefing up skilled labor force, construction of maternity waiting shelters and training of chiefs as well as community mobilization activities.

Board Chair for the Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood, Inkosi Kwataine, expressed his optimism for the forum to provide an opportunity of coming up with critical issues that need to be addressed for the Initiatives interventions to effectively work.

He highlighted the importance on the interventions that are currently being implemented.

The Board Chair then stressed the need for law reforms including that of early marriages.

At least 67 participants including Government officials from key Ministries, the entire Board of the Chiefs Council on the Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood, Principals of Nursing Institutions, leaders of NGOs and those practicing midwifery attended the meeting.

The meeting was made available with financial assistance from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to share best practices and ideas aimed at enhancing improved skills attendance at birth at all levels in the country.

Workshop in progress

Daudi and delegates at the workshop

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