MamaYe activists' drive for improvement of hygiene and sanitation

Community involvement is key to reducing infectious diseases as evidenced with the active participation of MamaYe activists surrounding Mzenga Health Center in Nkhata Bay district

In order to improve hygiene and sanitation and reduce cases of infectious diseases to pregnant mothers and newborn babies, community members surrounding Mzenga Health Centre have donated various items towards the maternity unit.The community led by MamaYe activists have donated assorted items towards the improvement of maternal health by mobilizing resources at the health center in Nkhata Bay district.Speaking during the handover function on Tuesday, Innocent Matumula a Nurse/Midwife at Mzenga Health Center, said the facility was grateful to the gesture shown by the community in assiting the health center.

Innocent said, "we want to thank MamaYe for assisting us in ensuring that the health centre is offering quality health services." 

Through Quality Institutional Care (QuIC), MamaYe was able to identify that lack of electricity was a great challenge and the facility had gone for three months without electricity. The issue was presented to the District Council and a prepaid meter was installed, and we now have electricity.

Innocent further explained that during times of blackouts the maternity wards have to use candles which are brought by the pregnant mothers.The lack of electricity also affects pumping of water to the facility. Apart from assessing the challenge of electricity at the facility, MamaYe through QuIC has been able to address issues such as delivery packs and to ensure that the facility has skilled workers.Commenting on the need for quality health service delivery at the facility, Group Village Headman Chiswamphira pleaded for government's assistance in providing the area with an ambulance. GVH Chiswamphira said lack of an ambulance at the facility puts the lives of mothers and babies at risk as they have to wait close to 3 hours for an ambulance from the district hospital. GVH Chiswamphira also bemoaned that lack of bed space at Mzenga Health Center by stating that men and female patients have to share the same room. 

GVH Chiswamphira lamented, "lack of bed space has put a burden on the patients as male and female patients have to share the same ward. This can cause a lot of discomfort to both the patients and the guardian. I am afraid this may cause immoral behaviour in the community".

Oscar Chimango, chairperson for Mzenga MamaYe Activists, said the grouping met other stakeholders on how to address some of the challenges at the health facility.

With support from MamaYe district coordinator we were able to write letters to individuals and well-wishers and we were able to source K110,000 to buy some materials for the health centre

explained Oscar. MamaYe Communications Consultant, John Kawale, encouraged the community on the good job being advocated for saying MamaYe believes in empowering the communities to take action and responsibility on some shortfalls at the facilities. Some of the items donated were a wheelbarrow, mobs, brooms, slashers and soap all to the tune of K110,000. Apart from mobilizing these resources, the grouping is also planning on building an under 5 shelter and mobilize communities to donate blood.

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