Nation Publications Limited (NPL) on Saturday organised a Mother’s Day Fun Run in Mchinji where, in partnership with several organisations, the award-winning media house donated maternal and neonatal health care equipment worth K30 million (54,545) to Mchinji District Hospital.
Mother’s Day Fun Run is an annual NPL project that seeks to promote safe motherhood and fight maternal and neonatal deaths through provision of health care items to needy public hospitals and health centres nationwide.
Speaking during the event, NPL chief executive officer Mbumba Banda said there was need for collective effort to ensure that mothers in the country access acceptable and high quality maternal healthcare to prevent maternal deaths.
She said findings from a Global Health on Maternal Mortality Rate in Malawi report showed that provision of maternity care was less than half of what was required and that obstetric care services were still mostly lacking in Malawi, especially at peripheral health centre level.
Said Banda: “Our collective focus should be making pregnancy and childbirth safer, and ensuring access to acceptable and high quality maternal health care by disadvantaged and underserved women in the region, most of whom travel long distances to access such care for themselves and their unborn babies.”
She said government alone cannot reduce maternal mortality; hence, NPL’s continued efforts to promote safe motherhood through engagement of the private sector, international organisations and individuals to participate in the fight.
Speaking during the same event, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident coordinator Mia Seppo, who was the guest of honour, commended NPL for contributing to the maternal and newborn health by mobilising resources to buy equipment in hospitals.
She called on institutions and government to provide information and advocate for delay in child birth to prevent maternal deaths.
Mchinji district health officer Dr Chimwemwe Banda said the district hospital faced numerous challenges such as lack of equipment which affected its smooth operation.
The equipment include mattresses, oxygen concentrators, delivery sets and thermometers.
The fun run started with a 20-kilometre marathon from Kamwendo Trading Centre to Mchinji District Hospital. The runners were awarded medals of appreciation by NPL.
Organisations that supported the event included Press Trust, Dossani Trust, Standard Bank Limited, First Merchant Bank (FMB), MaiKhanda, Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) and Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC).