President Banda warns traditional birth attendants, ‘use hospitals’

Malawi President Joyce  Banda has urged traditional leaders, communities and all stakeholders to ensure that no woman delivers at traditional birth attendants to avoid maternal deaths which could otherwise be avoided.

The President cautioned traditional birth attendants to avoid carrying out deliveries in the communities urging them instead to play the role of referring expectant women to health centres for safe delivery.

“My warning to all traditional birth attendants is that if a woman dies in your hands, the law will take its course,” cautioned President Banda on Monday when she laid a foundation stone for a maternity holding shelter at Kalembo Health Centre in Balaka District.

The project was first introduced in Mulanje Hospital last month.

President Banda and Vice President/Health minister Khumbo Kachali laying the foundation stone

Huawei, a Chinese technology service provider company donated MK21million for the construction of the shelter and procurement of an ambulance for the health center.

On his part, Huawei Deputy Managing Director, Titus Tasosa said his company had made the donation to complement President Banda’s initiative on Safe Motherhood Programme which she started advocating even before she was sworn in as President of the Republic of Malawi.

“We are in technology business but we thought of taking a corporate social responsibility and go beyond provision of technology by reaching out to the society by addressing their health needs,” said Tasosa.

In his speech after a symbolic presentation of the MK21miilion cheque to President Banda, Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Pan Hejun said Huawei’s donation to Malawi was a symbol of the growing mutual relationship that exists between China and Malawi and that his Government would continue to urge Chinese investors in Malawi to emulate Huawei’s gesture and address the needs of local communities.

Pejun further commended the peaceful transition of power that took place in the country following the demise of former President Professor Bingu wa Mutharika.

Late Mutharika died on April 5, 2012 of cardiac arrest. President Banda was sworn in on April 7, 2012.

Banda thanked the Chinese Government for the support it renders to Malawi and urged China to continue supporting her government’s development efforts.

Member of Parliament for Balaka Central East, Yaumi Mpaweni and Group Village Headman (GVH) Nandumbo welcomed the project observing that it would significantly reduce maternal deaths in the area.

Mpaweni disclosed that Kalembo Health Center had been without an ambulance for sometime, a development he said led to the death of 4 women due to maternal complications in the year 2011.

The parliamentarian and GVH Nandumbo asked President Banda to consider expanding Kalembo Health Centre by constructing more structures saying the health facility served a population of 84,000.

They also appealed to the President to hasten the opening of two health centres namely; Chimatiro and Mwima which they said were already constructed but they had not been opened for a long time.

The foundation stone of the holding centre

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