Thyolo, March 6: Despite government efforts to curb maternal and infant mortality in the country, Thyolo district is proving otherwise as such cases are still on the increase.
Thyolo District Nursing Officer (DNO), Felina Kaliati disclosed this on Tuesday at Traditional Authority Kapichi’s headquarters during Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH) open day that was organized by Save the Children.
She said despite all the messages that were disseminated to the communities in the district on maternal and newborn health and support provided on the same, the number of maternal deaths was still on the increase compared to other districts in the southern region.
According to Kaliati, in 2011-2012 the district registered 26 maternal deaths (with 6 deaths from T/A Kapichi) up from 17 in the year 2010-2011.
“Let us all work hand in hand in preventing these deaths. As a community, let’s support the pregnant mothers by providing all the necessities and all what we have in order to protect the unborn children,” she added.
Speaking at the same function, Project Officer for Save the Children in the district, Eteaner Banda explained that in a bid to promote maternal and newborn health, her organization trained all the Health Surveillance Assistants (HASs) in the district in community mobilization and community based maternal newborn care.
However, Banda noted that despite all the trainings provided, the HASs were still failing to supervise all the women who are within the child bearing age.
“For maternal and newborn health to excel, the HASs need to do close supervision and also have a register of all the women who are within the child bearing age in the community,” she added.
On this note, T/A Kapichi said lack of transportation was one of the contributing factors to the maternal deaths in the area as the only health facility in the area does not have an ambulance.
The T/A therefore asked the district health office to consider providing the area with an ambulance or any other mode of transportation if maternal deaths were to be reduced.
MNH Project started being implemented in all the districts of the country since 2008 by Save the Children.