Minister admits maternal, neonatal deaths ‘too high’ in Malawi
Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume on Monday smade a rare confession that Malawi’s high figures in martenal and neonatal deaths is worrisome to the authorities and that many of these deaths could be avoided if basic health and obstetric care services were more widely available.
Kumpalume said according to UNICEF report of 2014, under-five mortality rate is estimated to be at 64 per 1000 live births.
He said this in Lilongwe when he officially launched the 2016 round one of child health days which will run from the 7th up to 11th March, 2016.
Said Kumpalume, “the causes of child death in Malawi are Malaria, diarrhea diseases and acute respiratory infections, with malnutrition as the key contributing factor. This is not acceptable and we need a concerted effort to address the situation”
According to the Minister, Malawi has registered notable success in most Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services since the 1990s.
“MCH services comprises of immunizations, antenatal and postnatal care, family planning, vitamin A supplementation, therapeutic and supplementary feeding.
“These successes have resulted in remarkable improvement in morbidity and mortality patterns, especially from diseases amenable to immunizations and other preventable childhood illnesses,” he said.
Commenting on the child health days campaign that he was launching, Kumpalume said it will focus on provision of Vitamin A supplementation and de-worming tablets accompanies by an intensive social mobilization and information education and communication with emphasis on infant and young child feeding, use of insecticide treated nets and hygiene.
“During this period, children aged 6 to 11 months and post- natal mother less than eight weeks will receive Vitamin A capsules. At the same time, children aged 12 to 59 months will receive Vitamin A and de-worming tablets.
According to him a total of 2, 609,699 children and 163, 104 post-partum mothers are expected to be reached with Vitamin A supplementation while a total of 1,592,221 children are expected to be reached with de-worming tablets.
Good job Honouourable Min we are blessed to have you. Keep up the good job.