Pregnant women in Chisi, Karonga, keep dying while giving birth at the hands of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) due to lack of passable roads to take them to the nearest clinics, it has been established.
The hard-to-reach hilly population in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kilupula still relies on the banned birth attendants as motorbike operators charge about K5 000 to take women in labour to Kaporo and Ngerenge health centres.
According to the locals, five women have died on the rugged, dusty road during the past five years while two others developed fistula.
“Some women deliver on the way while the five died of complications because they could not afford a motorbike,” said Febie Mbughi.
This contradicts bylaws contrived to ensure no woman gives birth at home and with the assistance of TBAs.
The rural community, through Kilupula Area Development Committee, has petitioned Karonga District Council to construct a clinic in the area.
They disclosed this on the sidelines of a meeting organised by Lutheran Association of Malawi on Wednesday to discuss the right to food.
“The area has no passable roads, markets and Admarc depot for easy access to food and other essential supplies.
Songwe Ward councillor Austin Mwapimeghe said this compromises the remote population’s right to food and access to health services.
He asked the district health office to establish a clinic in the area. n