Lilongwe District leads in maternal mortality


The Ministry of Health has said lack of quality care in health facilities in the country is threatening to derail Malawi’s bid to attain Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Number Five.

Director of Planning and Policy Development in the Ministry of Health, Dalitso Kabambe, said in 1990 Malawi committed to reduce maternal deaths from 620 mothers per 100 000 deliveries to 155 maternal deaths per 100 000 deliveries by 2015.

“Maternal deaths remains very high and Malawi is off mark in attaining MDG Number Five as in 2012 it was observed that maternal mortality had actually worsened at 674 deaths per 100 000 deliveries,” he said.


Kabambe also said after government observed it was failing to reach the target on maternal deaths, Results-Based Financing for Maternal and Neonatal Health (RBF4MNH) was mooted to accelerate efforts aimed at ensuring that more mothers deliver at health facilities and that there was quality care provided in the hospitals.

Speaking when the Secretary of Health, McPhail Magwira, visited Mchinji District Health Office and Kochilira Health Centre which are RBF4MNH participating facilities, Kabambe said, unfortunately, maternal death remains high as the 2014 end-line MDG survey puts it at 574 which is wide-off the mark of 155 by December, 2015.

Commenting on the issue, Magwira said there was need to improve quality of care in hospitals to reduce maternal death in the country.


“Some of the factors leading to the extremely high rate of maternal mortality include sepses which requires that we improve the quality of care in health facilities as more pregnant women are coming to deliver at health facilities and congestion is compromising quality,” he said.

Magwira also said RBF4MNH has improved the condition in the maternity wards in the participating facilities and there was need to extend the programme to all the remaining districts.

Mchinji DHO Chimwemwe Banda said for quality care to be attained, there was need to be funding the district with K40 million every month after preventive maintenance has been done on the facilities.

“Currently, we are getting about K10-K15 million per month and this is not enough to meet the basic operations of the health delivery system in the district,” Banda said.

According to statistics, Lilongwe tops the list where pregnant mothers die while delivering followed by Blantyre.

Mchinji, which has a capacity for 180 patients, admits up to 500 patients, thereby compromising on quality care.

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