Senior Chief Lukwa of Malawi’s central district of Kasungu has said the rising maternal deaths in the country would only be reduced should parents encourage young girls to stay in school.
He was speaking Saturday during the installation ceremony of 12 chiefs held at Chidzenje area in the district where he asked the new chiefs to dedicate their time and effort to serve the interests of their subjects.
Lukwa singled out school dropout especially among girls as one of the greatest challenges in his area that is contributing to the rising cases of material deaths in the predominantly tobacco grown district.
“I am asking everyone here to take responsibility in ensuring that our girls stay in school because that is one of the reasons we are losing women during childbirth. They are too young to give birth. Their bodies are not yet matured. It is therefore important that they stay in school so that after being educated they can make meaningful contributions to our society,” said Lukwa.
The guest of honour at the ceremony Senior Chief Kwataine, who is also chairperson of the Presidential Initiative on Safe Motherhood, called on the newly installed chiefs to help eliminate the use of traditional birth attendants in the villages and encouraged mothers to give birth in the hospitals.
” Our women are dying because some of them insist on giving birth in the village with the assistance of traditional birth attendants and when there are complications these TBA’s cannot help you.
“I am therefore asking that you give birth in the hospital where you can be given proper care by trained midwives and nurses”, Kwataine said.
In their remarks, the new chiefs pledged their support towards the Presidential Initiative on Safe Motherhood and promised to work with the existing committees on achieving the goals of the initiative.