Minister responsible Atupele Muluzi made the remarks in Lilongwe at a fundraising dinner for Bwaila maternity unit by Malawi Chapter of the African Women Honors & Empowerment; a grouping of professional career women.
The Minister observed that the gesture is not only in support of the mothers but also government in its quest to provide adequate health services for all.
“Malawi has improved on numbers of pregnant women who seek medical delivery thereby increasing pressure on health resources in all our health facilities.
“This is a positive development because it has also decreased maternity and newborn deaths. This gesture is very welcome, but on the other hand it means inadequate facilities', said Muluzi.
Muluzi said the increase in seeking medical care for pregnant mothers has left Bwaila maternity unit with shortage of beds for waiting mothers and those who have delivered.
He said this is why government is making provision of a theatre at Area 25, Kawale and Kabudula rural hospital to ease congestion at Bwaila maternity unit.
Bwaila Hospital formerly known as Bottom Hospital is one busy maternity facility in the country as it caters for all surrounding health centres in Lilongwe and nearby districts. The maternity unit has one old wing with minimal bed capacity to cater for the growing population.
The Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi says as government is working tirelessly to provide necessary equipment for the growing numbers of mothers who are now accessing maternity services, the Ministry found it impressive to have partners who are willing to support the cause.
Melo: We want to ease challenges that pregnant women face
District Manager for African Women Honors Empowerment Rudo Melo disclosed that the idea to fundraise for the maternity unit came about after noticing challenges women face after delivery at Bwaila.
“At first we thought of buying BP machines for the hospital, but when I personally went to check with authorities at Bwaila, I found a woman sleeping with a newborn on the floor. This is when I told my friends to change our focus to buying beds for the unit,” commented Melo.
She said so far 25 beds have already been sourced and the target is to buy 50 beds and mattresses.
“As I'm talking to you, we have reached 25 beds and some companies have promised to donate before October. I’m confident to hit our target by that time,” said Melo.
Melo added that her grouping seeks to make its donation of 50 beds and mattresses to the unit during mother’s day celebration this year hence the fundraising.
Bwaila maternity unit has a record of at least 50 babies born in one day and is said to be the busiest maternity hospital in SADC region according to Ministry of Health.
The labour ward has 12 beds that are not enough for the deliveries and the whole maternity unit which has an antenatal, labour ward, postnatal and nursery has 250 beds in total.
African Women Honors & Empowerment’s target is to buy 50 beds and mattresses at a cost of MK150,000.00 each pair.