President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has said the Makanjira Centre for Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care (CEmONC) is his special gift to women of childbearing ages in Traditional Authorities Makanjira, Lulanga, and Namabvi in Mangochi.
Chakwera said although the overall maternal mortality rates in Mangochi have dropped over the past five years, the rates here in T/A Makanjira and surrounding areas have remained high, accounting for 20 percent of the poor maternal and neonatal outcomes in the district.
“I therefore cannot think of a better Mother’s Day present to the Moms of Makanjira than to launch this project that will surely save the lives of many here, because no woman should have to lose her life while birthing another,” he said.
The President added that apart from being a life-saving facility, the centre will also significantly improve the lives of women and children in the areas of the three T/As whose population includes over 53, 000 women of childbearing age and over 46, 000 children under the age of five.
He said the goal of his government is to increase both access and quality when it comes to healthcare service provision to these areas.
Chakwera stressed that the launch of the project is not a mere show as has been the practice in the past, stating that it is the policy of his administration that no construction project be launched unless the material, monetary, and technical wherewithal for commencing works is well in hand and ready for execution.
“As such, my office will be monitoring this project closely to see that there is progress being made on time and on budget. This is our approach across the health sector, where we have either completed key health projects in several districts or where projects are under construction. These include health centres in Nancholi Blantyre, Makina Health Centre in Zomba and Chilinde Health Centre in Lilongwe.
“Additionally, we have health posts in Dedza, Mwanza, Neno, Phalombe, Thyolo, Mzimba and Ntchisi that are about to be completed. Then there are also dilapidated health facilities in Chitipa, Dowa, Kasungu, Likoma, Balaka, Chikwawa and Mzimba that we are rehabilitating at the same time. We are doing all these things to put money where our mouth is when it comes to enabling the Malawi 2063 Vision, because we cannot turn Malawi into a wealthy nation without ensuring that Malawians are healthy citizens,” said the President.
Meanwhile, President Chakwera has thanked Government of Iceland for providing the financial and technical support for the construction of the facility.