Balaka excels in maternal and neonatal programmes


BALAKA District Hospital has for the fifth time in a row scooped position one in Results-Based Financing for Maternal and Neonatal Health (RBF4MNH) Programme.

Speaking in an interview, Balaka District Health Officer, Bertha Chikuse, attributed the achievement to the coordination and dedication to work of the health workers from all out stations and other stakeholders in the health delivery system.

“We have sensitised communities on the need to have pregnant women deliver under skilled attendance and have given incentives to all pregnant women that come to deliver at hospitals such as transport, money for food and wrappers, apart from introducing staff performance-related monetary awards to improve on service delivery,” Chikuse said.


She said Balaka was able to reduce child deaths from 19 in 2013 when the programme was introduced in the district to five in 2014 although due to some challenges, the number has gone up again to seven.

Member of Parliament for Balaka West, Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri, called for the scaling up of the programme to reach out to all health facilities in the district so that more pregnant women benefit from the initiative. “Much as they are saying Balaka is a star performer in this programme, there are a lot of poor pregnant women who need to benefit from the programme,” Dzimbiri said.

She described poverty levels in rural areas as high, saying scaling up the programme would go a long way in mitigating maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.


However, RBF4MNH Country Director, Matthew Nviiri, said although many people are praying for the scaling up of the programme, resources would not permit to launch the initiative countrywide.

Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of Health, George Nga Mtafu, said both the German and Norwegian governments needed to extend the time for funding the programme before government could take over.

“There are people who will be saying the cost for such a programme countrywide is so high but our own health service is not so good because we are investing so little in health,” Mtafu said.

He said in the area of health service provision and infrastructure development, nothing could be better than what RBF4MNH was doing because government resources were not sufficient to reach such standards.

The German and Royal Norwegian governments committed US$10 million to Phase I and Euro 10 million to Phase 2 of the initiative which is being implemented in Balaka, Ntcheu, Dedza and Mchinji districts where it is supporting 28 health facilities.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker