Farmers World to build Maternity Shelter at Chilumba

Farmers World, an agricultural business company, has offered to construct a 24 bed maternity Shelter at Chilumba in Karonga district as way of assisting government in its drive to promote maternal health and safe Motherhood.

Farmers World Assistant General Manager responsible for Operations and Marketing, Dexter Mkandawire made the offer When Vice President Khumbo Kachali laid a foundation stone for construction of a maternity shelter at Chilumba Health Centre on Saturday.

“I confirm that Farmers World will indeed construct the maternity shelter here at Chilumba as part of our corporate social responsibility” Mkandawire said at a meeting the Vice President addressed at Chisumbu School ground after laying the foundation stone.

Mkandawire who could not say outright the cost of the project said the company will start construction of the facility as soon as Ministry of Health submit their architectural designs.

Kachali laying maternity shelter foundation stone at Chilumba Health Centre - Pic by MANA

He said the company will be delighted to be associated with the safe motherhood drive in the country because expectant mothers form part of its customer base.

Kachali who is also Minister of Health thanked the Farmers World for positively responding to President Joyce Banda request for companies and well wishers to assist in making the Presidential Initiative on Maternal health and Safe motherhood a success.

He told a jubilant crowd that by joining the safe motherhood campaign and the offer to construct a maternity shelter at Chilumba, Farmers World has the welfare of people at heart and the facility would greatly promote maternal health.

Recently, President Banda assured people of Chilumba on her first visit as head of state to Karonga that she would do her best to ensure that a maternity shelter was constructed at Chilumba Health Centre.

Standard plans

Principal Secretary for Health, Dr. Charles Mwansambo told MANA that the ministry of health has already standard plans for such shelters and very soon the ministry will submit to Farmers World a 24 bed maternity shelter plan so that construction can start.

“Actually, we have the plan and it is ready for submission. We will submit the plan once we get back to Lilongwe,” he said.

Chairman for Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe motherhood, Senior Chief Kwataine of Ntcheu said in an interview that he was delighted that the corporate world was coming up to support the safe motherhood campaign.

“The President initiated the programme but we need companies like the Farmers World to come forward to assist to make it a success. We cannot leave it to government alone,” Senior Chief Kwataine said.

Chilumba Health Centre which has a six bed maternity wing was established in 1932 but now it has a catchment area of over 36,000 people.

According to Clinical Officer -in – Charge, Siwerd Ngwira, construction of the maternity shelter will make early admission of expectant mothers who may need to be at the health facility for one reason or another possible.

Ngwira said an increase in early admission of expectant mothers needing special attention will help reduce maternal and infant deaths.

Dexter Mkandawire of Farmers World (left) and Kachali shake hands after laying of maternity shelter foundation stone - pic MANA

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