Chitipa District Hospital has expressed concern over increasing rates of neonatal deaths in the district which it blames on expectant women taking traditional medicine they believe induce quick deliveries.
The hospital’s safe motherhood coordinator George Nkhoma said this on Tuesday at Lwakwa in Senior Chief Mwaulambia in the district during a community sensitisation meeting on safe motherhood and maternal health organised by White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood.
He said there is strong belief in some sections of the community that expectant women can deliver easily and quickly with the help of a concoction laced with herbs.
Said Nkhoma: “A bigger percentage of neonatal deaths recorded in the district is caused by use of traditional medicine by expectant mothers ostensibly to quicken the delivery process.”
He said there is, by nature, a fixed time for a woman to deliver and warned that any human effort to fasten the process is risky to both the unborn baby and the mother.
White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood programme manager Nancy Kamwendo commended midwives in the district for their commitment to ensure safe deliveries of expectant women despite numerous challenges the hospital was facing.
“Let me commend midwives from Chitipa District Hospital for their love and compassion towards expectant women which is why there are few accidents during deliveries,” she said.
Chief Mwaulambia said he has set by-laws that criminalise delivering at traditional birth attendants as a strategy of fighting infant and maternal mortality in his area. n