JB reaffirms commitment to promoting safe motherhood in Malawi

President Joyce Banda Sunday reaffirmed its commitment to the promotion of safe motherhood initiative in a bid to protect pregnant women and promote maternal health in the country.

President Banda was speaking at Chembe community ground in the area of traditional authority Nankumba in Mangochi after laying a foundation stone for the construction of a maternity clinic at Cape Maclear in the district.

“My government is committed to ensuring that most facilities that are far away from referral centres should at least have a maternity clinic to promote safe delivery in our communities,” Banda said.

She said infrastructure development is important in the health sector because it increases accessibility of health services to people especially those in rural areas.

President Mrs.Joyce Banda lays a foundation stone for the construction of a new Maternity clinic at Billy Riordan memorial clinic at Cape Maclear in Mangochi.Picture by Francis Mphweya-MANA.

The President said government is in the forefront to ensuring that most of the remote health facilities have maternity services.

“Women of child bearing age have suffered for so long in getting access to antenatal services. This trend has to be reversed. Deaths of women due to pregnancy related complications, is both avoidable and unnecessary,” she added.

The Malawi leader expressed optimism at the decreasing figures of mothers who die of pregnancy related complications, quoting the Malawi 2010 Demographic and Health Survey which indicates that the maternal mortality rate has dwindled from 984 per 100,000 live births in 2004 to 675 per 100,000 live births in 2010.

She emphasized that it is her personal intention to bring maternity services closer to the community through community midwives and making available proper infrastructure.

President Banda observed that there is higher opportunity for women to contribute to national development not only for their own health, but also for their children if they are given programmes attracting them to access care and quality services.

“The availability of maternity services and proper infrastructure form a significant package that would motivate women to come earlier and be delivered by a skilled attendant,” the President said.

Banda thanked Billy Riordan Clinic which is adjacent to the maternity clinic project and Owners of Lodges at Cape Maclear for joining hands to fund the construction of the facility.

The clinic which will be complete with three staff houses will be constructed with funds from Owners of Lodges and Mota Engil.

Deputy Minister of Health, Halima Daudi said government realizes the challenges which women face from pregnancy to delivery, pointing out that one such challenge is the availability of necessary services during antenatal and delivery periods.

“Much as many women try to get to the facilities for delivery, it is well known that most of them find it difficult to walk long distances when delivery is imminent or labour has started,” Daudi said.

President Mrs.Joyce Banda unveilling a plaque to officially lay the foundation stone for the project at Cape Maclear.Picture by Francis Mphweya-MANA.

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