The Ministry of Health (MoH) has hailed Mangochi District Health Office (DHO) for reducing maternal deaths by almost half from 12 in the last quarter of 2018 to five in the first quarter of 2019.
In its Maternal Death Surveillance Report released last Saturday, the office has attributed the success to the opening of a new district maternity wing with double capacity in January 2019, three new maternity wings at Kukalanga, Kadango and Malombe health centres and deployment of midwives on relief to ensure a minimum of three midwives per unit.
“Since moving to the new wing, the district hospital has registered a single case of maternal death in three months compared to five per quarter [for the district hospital],” reads the report in part.
Commenting on the development, MoH spokesperson Joshua Malango said it was fulfilling to note that several districts are implementing interventions employed by the ministry towards reduction of maternal deaths.
He said: “This is a welcome development and, as a ministry, we are proud. This is not happening in Mangochi only, but several districts. That is the reason we are doing well at national level.”
The 2015/16 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey Report puts Malawi’s maternal mortality rate at 439 per 100 000 live births. The rates have been fluctuating from 510 in 2008; 460 in 2010 and 634 in 2015.
The office further plans to open new maternity wings at Mbalama, Chiponde and Phirilongwe health centres by June 30 this year.