Health authorities in Malawi are recruiting women to undergo an 18-month long training as midwives from 1st October.
The exercise which targets 200 women has been made possible with a donation of MK15 million from Airtel Malawi.
Coordinator for the Presidential Initiative on Safe Motherhood Dorothy Ngoma says interviews are currently being conducted in the country’s three regions; South, Central and North.
Ngoma says the initiative seeks to train 1000 midwives by 2014.
“These midwives will be deployed to various parts of the country’s hospitals. And we hope that they will help reduce the maternal mortality rate in Malawi by 2015 as envisage by Millennium Development Goal,” she says.
Chairperson for the Presidential Initiative on Safe Motherhood, Senior Chief Kwataine of Ntcheu this week has been conducting series of training for traditional leaders on safe motherhood.
Among other issues the traditional leaders are being taught to encourage pregnant women in their respective areas to give birth in the hospitals rather than at the homes of traditional birth attendants.
The positive effects of the initiative are already being felt. For example Chief Nkanda of Malawi’s central district of Mchinji is on the forefront encouraging couples to attend ante-natal clinics during the pregnancy.
Those who refuse to attend the clinics are punished by paying a goat.