Global leaders hail Malawi progress on safe-motherhood

Global maternal and child health leaders have commended tremendous strides that have been made by Malawi’s Safe Motherhood eleven months down the line following commitments made at the Family Planning London summit in 2012.

Prominent figures working in the sector from about 150 countries worldwide have gathered  IN Kuala Lumpur with the aim of improving the welfare of children and women in the world.

Malawi is represented by several high profile delegates including representatives of the country’s girls’ rights advocacy group Girl Empowerment Network, representatives from Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood and other government officials.

The compliments were made during the plenary session which the National Coordinator for Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood Dorothy Ngoma made a presentation on the progress which the Initiative has made so far since it was launched in April 2012 as commitment to improve in areas of sexual reproductive health and family planning aimed at reducing mortality and morbidity rates as well as improving girl child education.

The Kuala Lumpar summit discussing Malawi success story on maternal health
The Kuala Lumpar summit discussing Malawi success story on maternal health

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Excutive Director Babatunde Osotimehin and Melinda Gates who is a co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hailed efforts by the government of Malawi and interventions that have been put in place to improve the uptake on family planning.

On his part Babatunde said he was encouraged to see countries such as Malawi using locally based resources such as the chiefs to take lead in mobilizing their communities to promote issues of accessing quality health care which are aimed at improving family planning in respective areas because they are opinion leaders.

“I am quite impressed to learn efforts that have been taken by countries to ensure that messages of family planning are reaching their masses through community mobilization activities which is also promoting the use of locally available resources such as chiefs which are also very powerful message carriers.

“It is quite encouraging to hear what is happening in Malawi and the use of chiefs to spread information of family planning and need to access quality health care is a tremendous intervention which should be supported and encouraged, said Osotimehin.

In her remarks Melinda Gates disclosed that she is inspired and convinced with the efforts that have made following commitments made during the previous summit in London as was noted during her visit last year.

“This time we are looking back over the year since the summit and reflecting on what this community has accomplished. Hearing about progress that has been already happening is a milestone.

“At the summit, donors committed $ 2.6 billion to the Family Planning vision. These funds are critical, because they will help countries implement ambitious national plans. To me this is the most important development in the months since the summit and the leadership I have seen in countries is a strong indication that the current approach is indeed new and innovative,” disclosed Melinda.

During the plenary session, Ngoma made a speech regarding Malawi’s commitment at the London Summit and progress made so far since the establishment of the Initiative which is mainly championing three major interventions which are Community Mobilization and Training of Chiefs, Training of Community midwives and Construction of maternity waiting homes.

Malawi also committed to put population dynamics, family planning and girl child education at the centre of development planning. This has been manifested through the National Population Policy which its objectives and goals are consistent with the Governments broader goal of achieving sustainable human development among others.

The summit is expected to end on 30th May 2013.

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