Malawians & NGO’s appeal for proper medical care

People and various organizations in Dowa have expressed concern over long distance pregnant women travel to access medical services at health facilities in the district.

The concern was raised during a daylong interface meeting which brought together officials from community health- BWALO, radio listening clubs, Dowa District Council’s Health and Environment service committee and the District Health Office.

Dowa District Health Officer Dr. Peter Makoza said half of maternal deaths in the district are caused by pregnancy complications which could be prevented if transport and fuel for ambulances were in place.

“I sympathize with people in hard to reach areas and thanked PACHI, MEHN as well as YONECO for organizing the interface meeting,” sympathised Dr Makoza.

He expressed hope that people will understand that effective health service delivery requires cooperation between hospital staff and communities.

Chairperson for Dowa District Council’s Health and Environment service committee councilor Macdonald Gwazani said the meeting had empowered representatives of communities to speak out their challenges to District Health Office.

“Communities and health officials pointed fingers at each other but agreed to work together,” disclosed Gwazani.

He expressed optimism that an action plan will be formulated to address maternal and neonatal deaths in the district.

In his remarks, PACHI’s Dowa district coordinator for social accountability project Ralph Chikadza said people must hold accountable duty bearers on issues that affect them.

“My organization brought to the meeting the District Health Officer to provide answers to challenges which are hampering people to access quality health services in the district.,” expressed Chikadza

He said apart from Dowa, similar interventions are being implemented in other districts such as Zomba, Nkhatabay, Dedza and Machinga with a goal of ensuring reduction of maternal and neonatal deaths.

A participant at the meeting, Felix Mphumulo asked government to construct adequate health facilities in the district because people are suffering as if they are not Malawians.

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