As a way of making sure that mothers are exposed to safe motherhood, White Ribbon Alliance is teaching communities in Mchinji through community engagement meetings on respectful maternity care.
Speaking at one of the meetings which took place at Waliranji in Mchinji on Saturday, Director for White Ribbon Alliance in Malawi, Elimase Kamanga Gama, stated that the aim of the meetings was to ensure that communities, especially women, are able to know their rights and responsibilities as they receive maternity care.
Kamanga Gama explained that they, as an organization, expect the mothers to honour and respect the rights of the health workers that assist them, adding she believes the message will be spread around by the mother care groups who were engaged during these meeting.
On his part, Safe Motherhood Coordinator for Mchinji, Elias Kantepa, said the meetings will help the district improve its services when it comes to maternity care.
“The issue of maternal deaths and neo-natal deaths has been affecting a lot of our communities because most women do not attend maternity services due to different beliefs or fear of experiencing bad services in their respective health centres,” said Kantepa.
Kantepa further said that the meeting has acted as an eye opener to both the mothers and the health workers, as they will now be able to work hand in hand with knowledge of the rights and responsibilities of each and every one of them.
One of the attendees, Efiginia Petiyasi, appreciated White Ribbon Alliance for the educative meeting, stating that women were not aware of some of the rights that protect them while accessing maternity care services.
She explained that she will make sure that the message will be passed on to their communities so that the hospital becomes a good environment for both health workers and people seeking maternity care.
With funding from Propel Health and United States Agency for International Development in collaboration with Mchinji District Hospital, White Ribbon Alliance conducted community engagement meetings on respectful maternity care on 22 and 23 August at Kamwendo and Waliranji respectively.