Mamaye Movement, an initiative that aims at improving maternal and newborn survival by engaging the public, has, has appealed to the Malawi media to write more stories on health related issues.
The country lead for Mamaye Project, Mathias Chatuluka, made the appeal in Salima during a training workshop his organisation arranged for the media.
Chatuluka said the media should make health reporting a bigger priority.
He said the high maternal situation presents a worrisome situation and serious concerns about the health of mothers and children in a country.
Malawi is among the countries with the highest maternal mortality rate in the world hovering at 574 per 100,000 in 2014 reduced from 984 per 100,000 in 2004, which is the highest in Central and Southern Africa region.
That is why, the government of Malawi recognised maternal and newborn health as one of the key priorities in the delivery of health services to its population.
Currently, through the Health Sector Strategic Plan, maternal and newborn health comprise one of the key elements of essential health package.
Following an assessment on the availability, quality and utilization of the emergency obstetric and neonatal care services (EmONC) in 2005, a Road Map for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality and Morbidity in Malawi was developed.
According to Chatuluka, repeat assessment was carried out in 2010 leading to the review of the Road Map in 2012.
The road map sets out the pace for a comprehensive response in addressing the key tenets of maternal and newborn health from policy to implementation by providing strategic guidance in addressing such issues and is in line with the National Health Sector Strategic Plan.
In his analysis, Chatuluka said: “Considering that most of these deaths are preventable and realizing that Malawi is among the countries in Eastern, Central Southern Africa region with high maternal mortality (984/100,000 in 2004), Malawi has for the past 10 years been implementing a number of measures to address the high maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in the country.”
Mama Ye Project believe that Maternal and newborn health situation is a major indicator in a country and gives a general picture of a country’s basic care provided to women and children.
Currently studies have shown that Globally, over 210 million become pregnant every year.
“However, some of these pregnancies end up developing complications (15%) which result in death of around 358,000 women (EmONC Assessment Report, 2011). It is further observed that 99% of untimely deaths occur in developing countries.”
2011 EmoNC Report further cites that the majority of the deaths (80%) are caused by severe haemorrhage (21%), unsafe abortions (13%), eclampsia (12%), sepsis (8%) and obstructed labour (8%).
Chatuluka told the media that skilled personnel plays significant role in the battle against the martenal and neaunatal deaths.
“Maternal mortality rate in Malawi stands at 574 per 100,000 live births (MICS, 2014), a significant improvement from the situation ten years before when the mortality rate was 984 (2004). This is partly owing to a number of factors including improved coverage for antenatal care by skilled health personnel.
“ Eighty seven percent (87%) of women were reportedly attended by a skilled attendant while almost 89% of women had their most recent delivery conducted at a health facility showing some improvement from 57.2% in 2004 and 73% in 2010 (MDHS).
“ Caesarean section, a method of delivery (used as a measure of access to and use of common obstetric intervention for averting maternal and neonatal deaths) has improved and jumped to 5% from 2.8% (2004). This means that efforts by the communities to encourage everyone to prepare for the birth of the child (birth preparedness), provision of support especially transport to ensure women who are due for delivery arrive at the health facility on time, the timely decisions made for referral and availability of skilled personnel to conduct other methods of delivery such as vacuum extractions and caesarean sections have contributed significantly to the reduction of maternal deaths,” s aid Chatuluka.
The Project country Lead also noted that post natal care has also significantly improved and current figures show that 94% of women stayed at a health facility more than 12 hours after delivery.
“This period allows for early detection of post delivery complications which could easily be addressed by skilled personnel. In the same way, this period allows for the skilled personnel to conduct post natal checks for the mother and the newborn. In Malawi, post natal checks are being conducted either at the health facility or at home using trained community health workers,” Said Chauluka.
MamaYe Campaign was launched last year and has been working on a number of parameters to address the gaps.
Some of the interventions include seeking to ensure that decisions by policy makers and significant other are based on well packaged evidence, and advocacy.
The project further wants everyone responsible and participate in ensuring that all levels are engaged to contribute towards saving the lives of mothers and newborns.
Mama Ye Project further attempts to empower the communities to hold service providers to account and improve the quality of care provided to mothers and newborns.
Currently, the Mamaye project has already spread its wings in various districts of Malawi including Mzimba, Nkhata Bay, Rumphi, are some of the Districts in Malawi benefiting from the project.
Mama Ye project overview indicates that the campaign is being supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The campaign seeks at improving maternal and newborn survival in Malawi by using strategic combination of evidence, advocacy and accountability to save maternal and newborn lives built on UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded program.
Evidence for Action (E4A) is in six focal districts: Kasungu, Ntchisi, Mchinji, Ntcheu, Balaka and Mangochi.
The project is being implemented under Parents and Child Health Institute (PACHI).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :