Phalombe chiefs ban traditional birth attendants to save women from maternal deaths

Traditional leaders in the area of T.A. Mkhumba in Malawi’s southern district of Phalombe have banned harmful traditional practices including the use of Traditional Birth Attendants.

This was disclosed during the training for the chiefs in Phalombe organized by Senior Chief Kwataine, the chairperson of the Presidential Initiative on safe motherhood and maternal health.

Before the start of the training with the chiefs, Senior Chief Kwataine had earlier briefed women who were gathered outside at a borehole where he asked for their participation.

Chiefs and members of community listening to safemotherhood lecture.–Photos by Thokozani Mbewe

“I want you to know that issues pertaining to safe motherhood are for everyone in our communities, therefore I am inviting all of you to come and listen in on what I have to say and take the messages back to your families,” he said.

During the meeting T.A. Mkhumba told Chiefs in Phalombe that “Our women are dying and we as chiefs have a responsibility to make sure that we protect our people.  It is only through a collaborative effort that we can bring down the maternal mortality rate in Malawi.”

He said it is unacceptable for young girls to rush for early marriages and lose their lives during childbirth.

“It is against this background that I have banned harmful traditional practices, including the use of traditional birth attendants so that we can save the lives of our women,” he said.

On progress on some of the Initiatives on Safe motherhood and Maternal Health, Coordinator of the Presidential Initiative on safe motherhood Mrs. Dorothy Ngoma says several of the women shelters that were being constructed are almost complete.

“The shelter in Mulanje is complete and the one in Ulongwe is at roof level, and we are excited that our women will have a place to stay before their expected date of delivery,” Ngoma said.

“ We are making great strides and we are thankful to all those in the private sector and individuals who have come forward to support us.”

Chief Kwataine addressing Phalombe cheifs on safemotherhood
Ulongwe shelter nearing completion

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