Seven expectant mothers have died in a space of six months in the lakeshore northern district of Karonga, a development officials say is being triggered by shortage of blood and lack of effective means of transport to get the women to the hospital in good time.
Karonga district deputy health officer Dr. Ted Bandawe said last Thursday, during a four day capacity building workshop aimed at cajoling men to get involved in issues to do with maternal and neonatal health, that it was “worrisome.”
Said Bandawe: “This is because we don’t have enough blood reserves at
the hospital to donate to expectant mothers as well as transport to reach out to all of our thirteen health centres when we have cases that need referring.”
Foundation for Community Support Services (Focus) executive director Kossam Munthali said lack of maternal and neonatal health knowledge especially for men was a major barrier in as far as the war against reducing maternal deaths are concerned.
“Apart from the issues of blood and transport, lack of knowledge is a thorn in the flesh. That is why we thought of organizing this workshop to make sure that men are involved,” he said.
In his remarks, Davie Chilongo, president of Men as Partners (MaPs) – a grouping of more than 185 men who play the role model gimmick in their respective areas – hailed organisers for the workshop.
“It will change a lot of things in our families such as strengthening our marriages as well as reducing maternal and neonatal deaths,” said Chilongo.
The workshop was organized by FOCUS in partnership with Adventist Health Services (AHS) as part of a three year project being carried out under the banner ‘Reaching to Mother and Child Health’ with a K1.2 billion funding from Christian Aid and UK Aid.