Malawi faces a race against time to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on Safe Motherhood as a target which advocates a reduction in deaths of pregnant women and their children.
Standard Bank Malawi board chairperson Alex Chitsime said this on Thursday when the bank handed over a maternity holding shelter wing in Mulanje.
He said the countryâ€™s volatile fertility rate, which is not matched with adequate maternal infrastructure and service delivery, makes it a tall order for the country to achieve the MDG on maternal health.
He said the current statistics that for every 100 000 births, 675 mothers die due to pregnancy-related complications and that another 112 children are lost in their infancy, are scaring and calls for the nation to refocus its position in order to reverse this trend.
â€œThese are not mere statistics. These are people with names and faces and who equally deserve to live. Donâ€™t we all have a right to life?â€ asked Chitsime.
He said Standard Bank has taken up safe motherhood as its major corporate social undertaking to try to reverse the needless deaths of mothers and children in the country.
The bank has contributed similar facilities at Dedza District Hospital and Chintheche Health Centre in Nkhata Bay.
President Joyce Banda, while hailing the bank for the donation of the maternity waiting shelter, said her government will strive to ensure that MDG Targets 4 and 5 that calls for safe motherhood are attained.
She, however, bemoaned the inadequate resources that make it difficult for government to provide adequate service delivery to pregnant mothers.