Safe motherhood program facing inadequate resources in Kasungu

Inadequate resources to support antenatal and postnatal services challenge the dream to achieve safe motherhood vision at Kaluluma Health Centre in Malawi’s Central Region district of Kasungu.

This has been revealed following the project that Parent and Child Initiative (PACHI) implemented in the area — targeting maternal and new born health and one of the mothers from Kanyata Village, Memory Wayoye complained that they don’t get all the services expectant mothers are supposed to receive when they visit the heath centre.

“We are missing out a lot because most of the services that we need are not being provided at our heath centre and we feel that our lives are at a risk,” she said.

“For example, one day I had to volunteer to buy batteries from my own resources to access the blood pressure (BP) machine which was down but how many can afford this,” Wayoye said.

Random surveys showed that what Wayoye experienced is also been affected by members of the sorrounding communities through which they fear that their lives are at stake.

They cited inadequate staff, equipment and drugs as top most challenges the heath centre is facing.

Safe Motherhood Malawi

However, they commended PACHI for the program it is implementing to assist them, saying it has helped to make them realize their rights and responsibility in as far as safe motherhood is concerned.

Tinayani Phiri said: “We now know the benefits of starting antenatal services early and the benefits of the involvement of men in safe motherhood programme.

“We are now fully aware of the services we are entitled to and we have been empowered to always be free to ask our healthcare providers when we feel like something has not been done.

“Above all, the project has helped to control the habit of home delivery which many were practising,” she said.

In a phone interview, Kaluluma Health Centre officer in charge, Puman Muletseni admitted that the heath centre is facing a lot of challenges but was quick to assure the communities that everything will be sorted out as the government has already started responding to the challenges

“We are really struggling to support safe motherhood program as we don’t have enough staff in relation to the population we reach out to and also inadequate equipment has been a big challenge.

Kasungu Safe Motherhood

“That said, the government has provided us with working tools which will greatly improve delivery of service to our clients as we now have the necessary tools,” he said

PACHI is working in Senior Chief Kaluluma’s area in Kasungu North under a project called Maternal Newborn Heath designed to ensure that expectant mothers are well taken care of and that they exercise their rights.

The project was implemented in June 2020 and expected to run for 12 months.

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