Mamaye campaign on maternal and newborn health phases out

Having advocated on issues of maternal and newborn health in the country for five years, Mamaye, a campaign managed by Parent and Child Health Initiative (PACHI) has phased out. 

This was disclosed at a dissemination meeting held on Friday in Lilongwe where Mamaye took stock of their activities and showcased their activities to stakeholders.

The project which was implemented in the Northern and Central regions targeted Ntcheu, Mzimba, Nkhatabay and Rumphi.

In an interview, Mamaye Country Director, Mathias Chatuluka said it was a day of celebration having fulfilled their goals and reducing maternal and newborn deaths.

“Through this event, we are here to demonstrate our passion in saving lives of pregnant Mother’s and new born babies.  We are proud to say we have done it and fulfilled our goals where in some cases some mothers survived the most critical conditions when giving birth.”

“That is what we wanted and as we say goodbye to the people in the communities we were working in,”  Chatuluka said.

He pointed out that the issue of maternal health is quiet complex but at the same time if interventions or approaches that are very effective are all engaging, it can actually change the landscape and have figures that are going down every time and eventually reducing maternal deaths.

According to him, there was transparency and accountability scorecard which supported the districts systems to manage their budget property making sure it is consultative helping to have supported structures.

He added that this allowed citizens to be entitled to knowing how the funding the districts got were used and therefore encouraged proper budget implementation.

“We have used quality of institution care in selected sites in health facilities and used the results that showed facility readiness to manage a maternal case and linked the results to the budget process so that it responds to the issues on the ground.”

“We build the capacity and empowered the activists in all the areas by giving them skills and using the results from the quality of institution tool. This has made them to understand the concept and we are very hopeful that they will sustain the initiative,” Chatuluka added.

Commenting on the issue, an activist from Chikangawa Health Centre, Elizabeth Kaliyande said that the centre has benefitted and transformed said it was sad that the campaign has phased out as they would have loved to continue working with them longer than they have.

“It is sad that they are leaving. But we are grateful for the job well done. Chikangawa was one of the centers that had poor services therefore leading in maternal deaths. Now it’s a new song for us, everything has completely changed at our health center and we are so grateful,” Kaliyande said.

She added that Mamaye also strengthened their relationship with councilors, chiefs and their Member of Parliament (MP) because they worked so closely and that there was transparency and accountability on issues to with money allocated to the council.

Speaking in a separate interview, Director of Reproductive Health in the Ministry of Health, Fannie Kachale said the initiative has helped in making strides in terms of women that are able to access contraceptive methods.

“In 2010, only 42 percent of women in the country had access to contraceptive and now 58 percent of them are able to access the services. The initiative has also played a big role in reducing deaths in new born from 31 percent in 2010 and now at 27 per 1000 births,” she said.

Kachale added that in terms of the indicators, the country has improved and is moving in the right direction and promised to push from the central level, interact more with councilors, communities and health workers.

“As government we are so grateful and encouraged to hear from the activists themselves that they are not going to rest.  As a ministry we will make sure that we don’t lose these gains,” she said.

The one day meeting attracted different partners in maternal health such as Action Aid, Mai Khanda and Population Services International (PSI) just to mention a few.  It also attracted the presence of District Commissioners from the four councils and activists from different health centres.