By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza

Malawi is said to be off track towards achieving the zero maternal mortality deaths.

Presidential special advisor in safe motherhood and reproductive health, Dorophy Ngoma has therefore, attributed the emergence of covid 19 pandemic, negative attitude if health workers towards the pregnant mothers and poor sensitization efforts as some of the main factors compromising the efforts against the fight.

Ngoma observed that most of the mothers have shunned to deliver their babies at anti natal clinics due such factors.

Ngoma said the factors have further, made the country to record 14 percent of access to safe motherhood and reproductive health as compared to other neighbouring countries that are far above the margins.
“This is so worrisome indeed considering the huge resources that the country has so far invested in the fight,” she said.

According to her, the reports of her countrywide tour that she recently conducted revealed that many babies born before arrival and that most of them have been born at the traditional birth attendants (TBA’s).

“This is mainly is because confusion and fear of covid-19 as well as poor reception of health workers at the anti natal clinics.This therefore, has lead to the increased maternal mortality deaths in the country,” she said.

Ngoma therefore, suggested on the need for a strong community education sensitization campaigns targeted the women and the child bearing age groups so that they deliver at the hospital or maternal units to reduce the complications.

The presidential advisor says currently, 489 deaths per 100 in the country is due to maternal mortality complications.

Recently, government and its development partners introduced mobile health services to communities in a bid to increase the number of women accessing the safe motherhood and reproductive health services at the door step.

However, the initiative has been recording poor reception as most women have been shunning the services due to misinformation on covid 19.

In a separate interview, the deputy coordinator for safe motherhood under the Blantyre district health hospital ( BHO) Chikondi Macheso, urges the women to report the abusive attitudes of the health workers to the hospital ombudsman set at various health centers.

“ At our office, we also conduct mentor-ship and counseling so that we change the attitudes of the health workers towards the pregnant mothers, ” she said.

However, Macheso revealed that her office was doing poorly towards achieving its target of zero maternal mortality deaths as it records 13.2 % against the set target of 23% due to among other factors, the negative attitudes of the health workers and covid 19 pandemic.

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