Ipas Malawi board chairperson Dr Chisale Mhango has said Covid-19 has affected safe motherhood services in the country as women are afraid to visit hospitals for medical care.
Mhango, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, said this yesterday when Ipas Malawi donated assorted i tems wor th almost K14 million aimed at ensuring that sexual and reproductive services for mothers who are out of hospital and those in Covid-19 isolation centres in Blantyre remain undisrupted.
He said: “Women are afraid of visiting the hospital for antenatal care, childbi rth and family planning services because hospitals have high levels of Covid-19 infection.
“Secondly, among patients that have been affected by Covid-19 are pregnant women and there have been serious challenges in managing them because their chests are compressed due to the pregnancy.”
In his remarks, Blantyre District’s director of health and social services Dr. Gift Kawalazira said since the onset of the pandemic, at least five pregnant women with Covid-19 have been managed in the district.
“Unfortunately, we lost one of them at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital last week,” he said.
While commending Ipas Malawi for the donation, Kawalazira said although the country is battling Covid-19, other health issues such as sexual and reproductive health should not be forgotten and hospitals should be prepared to handle them when they come.
On her part, Ipas Malawi country director Pansi Katenga said the donation was made through the organisation’s partnership with the Blantyre District Health Office.
She said: “Ipas has a partnership with the district health office until 2023. Within the partnership, we agreed that during a crisis, Ipas will be supporting the Ministry of Health.
“However, because the organisation deals with safe motherhood issues, that is why our donation aims at strengthening the health system and offering care to mothers in Covid-19 isolation centres.”
The donated items included a theatre lamp, resuscitation units, patient monitors, electric suction machines, digital BP machines, surgical and N95 face masks, filled oxygen cylinders, medical oxy g en r eg u l a tor s , methylated spirit and hazmat suits.