Two female executives are tonight expected to sleep at Limbe Health Centre to raise funds for promotion of safe motherhood in support for this year’s Mothers Fun Run event organised by the Nation Publications Limited (NPL).
A seasoned chartered accountant currently working with Finca as chief finance officer Victoria Kalua and Zilani Khonje, communications and outreach director for Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) – Malawi said they decided to take up the challenge to see change in the livelihoods of the underprivileged in the society.
The two ladies are expected to raise a minimum of K200 000 each.
“I believe I am responsible to bring about that change by taking part in such initiatives. Time has come for us to take up responsibility for issues that affect us and not wait for foreign donor community to bring about the change we want to see,” said Kalua.
She recounted: “My daughter was born at 28 weeks and at 1kg, it was a frightening situation. She was born outside the country and due to good medical facilities in the public hospital there, she was given very good treatment. Then some six years ago I was at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) visiting someone, there came along a lady that was referred from Lirangwe Health Centre who had girl twins at 28 weeks.
“I noted that they (the twins) were not being put in the incubator and when I inquired the reason behind, I was notified that due to lack of proper facilities the babies were considered “not viable” because they needed to use the incubator continuously. My heart bled for that lady to think she was going to lose her babies. It made me think there is something I can do. Even though it is not directly linked to premature babies I believe it’s a contribution towards saving a life.”
Kalua encouraged other women and the nation at large to join the noble course saying there is always strength in numbers.
For her part, Khonje thinks the initiative is for a good cause.
“I have read about the challenges women face in public hospitals and I want to experience this. This will give me a chance to interact with nurses and women and get more information on the major problems women and health workers face in public hospitals, “she said.
Khonje further highlighted that her participation is not aimed at being an observer but to get evidence that can and will be used to advocate for change and fight for women’s rights.
She encourages women to be part of the initiative and thereby take part in fighting for their rights.
Commenting on the initiative, NPL’s marketing officer Vanessa Mdala expressed gratitude for the support that the women have brought to the event by coming forward to participate in the challenge.
Said Mdala:”We hope that these women will be our advocate for change in the fight for good maternal health care after this experience.
Tomorrow, NPL’s chief executive officer Mbumba and the brain behind the Mothers’ Fun Run Mbumba Banda is expected to sleep at Mpemba Health Centre in Blantyre.
A similar event in the district took place on August 25 at Zingwangwa Health Centre.
Two female executives Clara Mwafulirwa from Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) and Vera Kantukule from Malawi Scotland Partnership took part in the sleepover and they have so far managed to raise over K600 000.
According to Mdala, this year, NPL expects to raise over K150 million for Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and all 26 health centres in Blantyre.
The Mothers’ Day Fun Run event is scheduled to take place on October 7.