Minister of Health, Dr Peter Kumpalume has hailed the Results Based Financing (RBF) maternal health project for enabling mothers access safe and good services at hospitals thereby reducing maternal mortality.
The project among other things, aims at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity by providing needy pregnant women with cash to enable them access care at participating facilities and staying in waiting homes for safe delivery.
Speaking after he visited Mkanda Health Centre and Kapiri Our Lady of Mount Carmel Community Hospital in Mchinji on Wednesday, Kumpalume said the project has changed the mindset of mothers and families to always access maternal health services at hospitals.
Responding to critics of the programme suggesting that the programme encourages women to give birth, the Minister said finances given to mothers are a catalyst to woe them to accessing services at the hospital.
“Through the incentives RBF project provides mothers have attained mindset change, men too have accepted to be part of the child birth process. More fathers are accompanying and supporting mothers to access antenatal services at the hospital which is a good thing,” he said.
Kumpalume said some mothers do not access pre and post natal services at hospitals due to lack of funds and RBF project addresses such challenges.
The Minister said government has plans to roll out the project in all the districts in the country to ensure that more mothers benefit from the project.
“Government is committed to ensuring that no mother dies during child birth and this project has made a difference in the lives of many families. The programme has started in four districts and we have learnt a number of things. We want the programme to go across the country. We know there are cost implications, but we want to sustain it so that no woman should die due to maternal complications,” he said.
District Health Officer for Mchinji Juliana Kanyengambeta said the project has improved the infrastructure of five participating facilities under RBF.
“Since the project started in Mchinji district 19,642 women have benefitted in all RBF facilities and the district hospital has carried out community awareness campaigns on the importance of hospital delivery,” she said.
Result Based Financing for Maternal and Neonatal Health Initiative which is funded by Germany Government and NORAD commenced in April 2013 in four districts of Dedza, Mchinji, Ntcheu and Balaka with five participating health facilities in Mchinji district.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :