President Peter Mutharika yesterday reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to reduce the number of preventable deaths in the country.
He said the country is making progress in eradicating HIV and Aids in line with the 90-90-90 targets which have seen more than 70 out of every 100 people living with Aids knowing their status, over 66 percent of people living with HIV on treatment and over 59 percent of people living with HIV having their viral load suppressed.
Mutharika was speaking during the official opening of the 21st board conference of Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) at Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe.
He said the country’s commitment to reduce preventable deaths is notable as shown by the 2015/16 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey, which indicates that maternal mortality has declined from 675 per 100 000 live births in 2010 to 439 per 100 000 live births in 2016. Infant mortality has also declined from 66 to 44 per 100 000 live births and newborn mortality has declined from 31 per 1 000 live births in 2010 to 27 per 1 000 live births in 2016.
But the President bemoaned the increase in the number of teenage pregnancies from 26 percent to 29 percent between 2015 and 2016.
PMNCH board chairperson Graca Machel said the partnership’s role complements the work and accountability processes of its individual members, enabling them to deliver more collectively than they would alone.
She said: “Our vision is to have a world in which every woman, child and adolescent in every setting realise their rights to physical and mental health and well-being, has social and economic opportunities, and is able to participate fully in shaping prosperous and sustainable societies.”
The partnership was formed in September 2005.