omba District Health Office (DHO) has urged pregnant women to deliver in hospital to reduce maternal deaths.
Zomba DHO communications officer Arnold Ndalira made the call on Saturday at Chinseu Trading Centre in Traditional Authority Nkapita during a meeting with chiefs and community members on safe motherhood.
He said that in 2020, six women died from labour complications while delivering at traditional birth attendants in the district.
“But records indicate that from 2018 to 2021, the district has not registered maternal deaths for women who went to health centres early for labour,” said Ndalira.
Group village head Mikundi I attributed the failure by pregnant women to deliver in hospital to their negligence.
He said they formulated by-laws that pregnant women should get a letter of recommendation from the chief to the hospital to access antenatal services.
Said Mikundi: “We will encourage pregnant women to start accessing antenatal services which help them know the status of their pregnancy.
“If a woman chooses to deliver at a traditional birth attendant, she risks her life because the attendants cannot carry out operations if needed.”
One of the women, Meria Majidu, who usually visits the hospital for antenatal services when pregnant, urged her fellow women to deliver in hospital.
She said: “Antenatal services include check-ups, counselling and tests for some diseases.
“As a pregnant woman, one should know what is needed to be done before delivery.”
Another community member, Atite Ndepele, also encouraged her fellow women to go to hospital early for delivery.
“There is a tendency by most women to delay to go to hospital for delivery. This is dangerous as others end up giving birth on the way,” she said.