By Blessings Kang’ombe, Contributor:
Balaka District has reduced cases of maternal deaths as efforts to reduce the maternal mortality rate at national level continue.
Balaka District Health Office spokesperson, Mercy Nyirenda, said the rate has declined from 16 percent in 2016 to 10 percent in 2018.
He said this during a media orientation meeting Foundation for Community Support Services (Focus) organised in the district recently.
“We have seen a rise in the number of expectant mothers who are delivering at our health facilities. Traditional leaders and partners have also played a pivotal role in coming up with by-laws aimed to promote health-seeking behaviour,” Nyirenda said.
Nyirenda said some of the women who die as a result of labour complications are from neighbouring districts.
“Forty percent of cases of maternal death recorded at the district hospital are of people from neighbouring districts such as Ntcheu,” she said.
Ntcheu District Health Officer, Mike Chisema, echoed the sentiments, saying community members who live in areas bordering Balaka and Ntcheu District prefer Balaka District Hospital to Ntcheu District hospital, which is at a distance.
Focus Executive Director, Kossam Munthali, asked the government to allocate more resources to district hospitals to address challenges besetting the provision of maternal healthcare services in the country.
Focus is implementing a three-year Scottish government funded ‘Increasing Citizen’s Demand for Accountability and Transparency Project’ through Christian Aid. It seeks to promote the participation of community members in healthcare service delivery.