JB insists no Malawi woman should die giving birth

President Joyce Banda has reiterated that her government will not allow any woman die which giving birth to a baby.

Banda, who rose to prominence in Malawi as a relentless advocate for women’s rights,  was speaking Madzanje Primary School in Ntcheu where she went for a safe motherhood campaign.

The Head of State said maternal mortality can be reduced with concerted efforts.

“My government will continue advocating for safe motherhood because our statistics are very pathetic.  With the help from chiefs and organizations, issue of maternal deaths should be history in Malawi,” said President Banda.

President Banda listening to a nurse. Photo by Amanda Chiliro/Nyasa Times

Maternal health

The President launched a Presidential Initiative for Maternal Hhealth and Safe Motherhood which is focusing on improving the delivery of health outcomes for women but also addressing the root causes of poor maternal health.

Banda wants to reduce child marriage and discourage women from giving birth at home, which she says are the key contributors to maternal mortality and fistula (of which Malawi has one of the highest rates in the world).

She wants to launch a nationwide campaign to educate traditional leaders about the dangers of child marriage and early pregnancy and become advocates encouraging parents to keep their girls at school and women to give birth in clinics.

Clinic

Banda who toured a clinic that has been in construction for three years has pledged to finish the construction with her old time friend, Dr. Erica Bennett, ambassador for Global African Diaspora,  who helps people in traditional Authority Kwataine access medical services as they had to travel 40 Kilometres to access medical services.

The President pledged to do everything she could to support maternal and safe motherhood activities in the area in particular, and the country as a whole.

She said Senior Traditional Authority Kwataine and the National Coordinator of the Safe motherhood Programme, Dorothy Ngoma should orient chiefs across the country on maternal and safe motherhood programme to reduce maternal and infant deaths.

Traditional Authority Kwataine, who chairs a committee of safe motherhood, said he will continue advising his subjects to seek medical services that go to traditional birth attendants.

Banda remains a role model to many women in Malawi for her gender fight in a male-dominated society.

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