Iceland government for improved maternal health


The Embassy of Iceland has announced that it will construct a Centre for Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care in Makanjira, Mangochi, as one way of easing health problems that women face.

The announcement coincided with World Health Day on April 7.

World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year under the sponsorship of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The global body held its first World Health Assembly in 1948.


In a statement, the Embassy of Iceland in Malawi says the move is part of the strategy to ensure that WHO’s ‘Health For All’ goals are met.

In the initiative, the government of Iceland has teamed up with Mangochi District Council, which is implementing the Mangochi Basic Services Programme (MBSP).

It is hoped that the comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care facility in Makanjira will cater for around 60,000 pregnant women in the area, who, in case of complications, cover a distance of over 100 kilometres to access maternal health services at Mangochi Boma.


The embassy says such women “will soon be able to access that care close to home and reduce the high risk of poor health outcomes for themselves and their unborn children”.

It indicates that the overall objective of MBSP is to facilitate efforts of the Malawi Government, and Mangochi District Council in particular, to improve livelihoods and socio-economic living conditions in rural communities in Mangochi District.

“This should result in a more resilient population and a more resourceful one for self-sufficiency. The MBSP aims to strengthen the delivery of basic services in the district through providing the Mangochi District Council with support and improved provision and use of basic services in these areas: improved health care, particularly in maternal and neo-natal health as well as improving community-based health services in rural communities of Mangochi District.

“Primary education, providing more equitable access to education and improve the quality of education; improved and increased access to clean, safe drinking water as well as improved sanitation and hygiene practices with the use of adequate sanitation facilities to reduce waterborne diseases and to promote better health and well-being,” it indicates.

It indicates that other goals are to promote the development of youths and women, emphasising economic empowerment and access to literacy and skills training; strengthen the capacity and ability of Mangochi District Council to deliver quality services and ensure successful implementation of the programme.

The first phase of the MBSP started in 2012 and ended in 2016 with the second phase of the programme following until 2021. Iceland extended the second phase of the programme to this year.

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