By Joseph Chikalipo – Mana.
People’s Republic of Japan has said that it was committed to improving maternal health in the country.
This is evidenced by a grant amounting to US$ 90,847 under the Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Projects to construct a maternity wing at Nsipe Health Centre in Ntcheu District that will serve a catchment population of about 25,331 people.
Speaking at the Grant Signing Ceremony for the project in Lilongwe on Monday, Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Satoshi Iwakiri said the upcoming facility would be important human security in the country.
“Lack of access to proper pregnancy care increases the risk for complications during delivery and also increases the risk of maternal and infant mortality. It was important to ensure that women have safe, clean and adequate rooms to delivery and recuperate in,” he said.
Ambassador Iwakiri urged the Health Centre’s management to ensure prudent use of funds as well as ensure quality and strong structures are constructed for the longevity of the maternity wing and safety of the pregnant women.
Principal Secretary for Ministry of Health and Population, Dr. Dan Namarika commended the government of Japan saying the facility would boost the quality of maternal health.
“It was a mandate that there should be a health facility within every 5 kilometres. Thus, the facility will contribute to the over health of the area.
“Specifically, the facility will provide access to quality health care as well as minimizing the expenditure on health services.” he said.
Namarika added that in the past decade, Malawi has made a significant improvement in reducing maternal deaths and due to the efforts being made, there should be more advancement.
The Administrator for Nsipe Health Centre, Sister Josephine Gowello showed her excitement and gratitude towards the project as it was going to ease problems at the Health Centre particularly in the maternal sector.
“The Health Centre was opened in 1979 and by then it was enough. However, due to population growth the facility was failing to provide quality services. Thus this will greatly help maternal health in the surrounding areas,” she said.
The Project is set to commence once the all the logistics are in place.