Karonga district health officer (DHO) Ted Bandawe has advised men in the district to take a leading role in ending deaths that continue to occur despite efforts from stakeholders.
Speaking during a training of men as partners organised by the Foundation for Community Support Services (Focus) on Friday, Bandawe said poor decision making such as negligence by husbands to send their wives to health facilities before delivery are some factors causing deaths of expectant women and babies during childbirth.
He said: “As a district hospital, we are worried with the increased number of maternal and neonatal deaths that occur due to negligence by the husbands, or the community at large to send women to a health facility before the delivery period.
“Most of the times, these women come to hospital after they have lost a lot of blood, as a result, we end up losing both the mother and child.
“At least seven maternal deaths were recorded at the district hospital from July 2015 to January this year (2016) as a result of this development, and I would therefore wish to advise men in the district to play a leading role in ensuring that they should get prepared to send their wives to hospital before the labour period.”
Focus is implementing a three-year project in Karonga District, to accelerate the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality, with funding from Christian Aid and UKAid.
Focus executive director Kosam Munthali said the project has currently received K1.3 billion (about $1.86million), to strengthen the capacity of families to improve maternal and neonatal health, among others in Karonga District.