Airtel has donated K15 million to government aimed at training 15 nurses in India under the Safe Motherhood programme.

This comes after the mobile service provider donated an ambulance and some reproductive health equipment at a health center in Ntcheu district.

“As Airtel, we out the lives of our subscribers at heart, it is high time we reduce the death of mothers and unborn children due to delivery complications. We felt obliged and were pleased to respond to the president’s (Joyce Banda) call for the private sector to support her cause in maternal health.

“”As government strives to provide the needs of the people, it is the duty of any responsible citizen, be it corporate, to partner it as they say, ‘a single bracelet does not jingle.’ We realize that Malawi faces enormous challenge to meet targets on health and safe motherhood under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and we are very keen to complement government efforts,” said Airtel Malawi’s Deputy Director Maulice Newa.

Currently, there is an inbalance and lack of skilled birth attendance both in urban and rural areas with about 84 percent and 53 percent respectively with the rural population having no access to maternal health.

Deputy Health Minister Halima Daudi said the donation comes at a right when government is trying to save the live of pregnant women and newly born babies.

“We have made progress towards achieving the MDG related to maternal health, however we want to come out clearly to say that deaths of pregnant women are unacceptable because we believe pregnancy is not a disease.

“The actions that can make a difference in saving a life of a pregnant woman lies within us Malawians and if we cannot do anything about our situation, who else will come and help us? We must stand now and not later. We therefore need to improve the number of skilled birth attendants in our health facilities.

“It is time therefore to make a difference to our own nation by saving mothers from preventable deaths that come due to pregnancy complications,” she said.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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