19 November 2017
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Tuesday, 20 September 2016 13:07

Mzimba DHO registers decrease in neonatal death

Written by  Leonard Masauli

 

Mzimba, September 20: Mzimba South District Health Office has registered a decrease in neonatal deaths following an increase of monthly funding from MK15.7 Million to MK21.2million courtesy of Mamaye advocacy project.

Recently, the Mamaye study in Mzimba South revealed that an average of 19 babies were dying per month before they reach the age of 28 days due to challenges of funding to the hospital which crippled most of the daily operations and left the ambulances grounded.

District Health Officer for Mzimba South, Dr Lumbani Munthali said the study by Mamaye has helped to lobby for more funding to the hospital which has a population of 663,000 and 31 health centers.

Munthali said the hospital had challenges in 2015-2016 financial because the hospital could get lower amount than the initial monthly funding of Mk15.7 million.

He said this resulted to a lot of problems as the hospital could not carry most of the important operations neither to ferry pregnant mothers from far distances, in-need of immediate help. Among other emergencies, the ambulances were also grounded due to fuel.

“In the 2016-2017 financial year, and in the month of August, the hospital has received an increase of funding, from the initial MK15.7 Million to about MK21.2 Million. This increase has helped us to register a decrease of neonatal deaths in our area of Mzimba South,”           Munthali said. He later continued saying, “for example, during the time we had problems of funding we had an average of 19 babies dying per month, out of 1197 live births, which translated to 15 babies dying out of 1000 live births. While from the month of August 2016, we only had 15 neonatal deaths out of 1393 live births in that month, which means that there was 11 deaths per 1000 live births.”  

Munthali thanked Mamaye for their effort to help lobby for an increase in funding for the hospital saying a lot of areas will greatly improve, especially with another initiative by Nation Publications Limited through Mothers Fun Run activity of which the assistance has been pegged at MK80 million.

He said apart from funding issues, the government has also been able to provide with extra nurses which have been sent to various health centres of Mabiri, Mkoma, Kamteteka among other areas to beef up on the shortage of staff.

Area Development Chairperson for M’mbelwa, Bodwin Ngulube also hailed Mamaye project saying it has improved reduce maternal deaths in the district.

He said pregnant mothers now rush to hospital to deliver unlike in the past when they were opting to deliver in homes which was dangerous when complications arise.
 
Ngulube said “Mamaye project has helped in the communities. People are now aware of the importance to donate blood, and even the pregnant mothers know the importance of delivering in hospitals.”

Mamaye is an advocacy based projects implemented by Parent and Child Health Initiative, which advocate for Maternal and Neonatal Health policies that increase access to essential Maternal and Neonatal Child Health interventions, commodities, and practices and ensure government fulfil commitments.

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