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Programme steps up institutional delivery advocacy

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Results-Based Financing for Maternal and Newborn Health (RBF 4MNH) initiative has engaged an extra gear in wooing more pregnant women to deliver at health facility level.

This comes in the wake of government realization that it has to create awareness and means for pregnant women to come in time to hospital to access services thereby achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) three.

Speaking during the launch of RBF4MNH community-based awareness meetings and road shows at Gwaza, Kuthakwanasi and Msiyaludzu in Ntcheu, chairperson of the RBF4MNH advocacy committee, Paramount Chief Gomani V, said there was still a high number of pregnant women who deliver at traditional birth attendants instead of health institutions thereby exacerbating maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity rate in the country.

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“The first 48 hours after delivery is the most crucial period where increased mothers and newborns are prone to die from complications that set in hence the need to monitor them carefully in order to reduce preventable deaths as traditional birth attendants do not have the expertise to monitor both the mother and newborn baby,” Paramount Gomani said.

Gomani also advised the youth, especially girls, to delay sexual debut, marriage and child bearing and increase access to sexual and reproductive health services (SRH).

Guest of honor at the launch, Chief director in the ministry of health, Chimwemwe Banda, said in order for government and Ministry of Health to achieve SDG three which talks of, ‘health for all’ there was need to change the health seeking behaviour to increase deliveries at facilities providing good quality services.

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RBF4MNH communications manager, Charity Roka, said they are strengthening the advocacy and promotion committee which comprises Paramount Chief Gomani, Senior Chief Kachindamoto, Senior Chief Makwangwala, Senior Chief Dambe and Chief Amidu to increase awareness at community level as traditional leaders are an established authority in the communities.

“We are introducing poverty based targeting of pregnant women and registration based on accessibility and not health facility catchment area as before apart from strengthening the role of village health committees but if people at the grass root level do not get the messages then the programme would not make as much impact as we intended,” Roka said.

Roka called upon all stakeholders to unite in helping government reduce the maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity rate in the country by spreading the message about the programme to all pregnant women in the participating four districts of Mchinji, Balaka, Dedza and Ntcheu.

RBF4MNH is a Malawi government programme designed to help poor people to live healthier lives by linking predetermined results to incentives and is funded by German and Royal Norwegian Governments.

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