SALIMA—The Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood needs to know this: Some women in Traditional Authority Kalonga in the lakeshore district of Salima say they would rather give birth with the assistance of ‘Azamba’ than at a maternity clinic.
‘Azamba’ are traditional midwives.
Women who spoke on condition of anonymity said that they prefer traditional midwives to Salima district hospital midwives because nurses at the hospital insult them during and after delivery, making the whole process painful.
"I feel so ashamed and very sorry for myself whenever a nurse of my daughter's age intimidates me in front of young women,” a mother who gave birth Wednesday with a traditional midwife in attendance said. “Why can't they just do their job without insulting patients?"
Other women who were with the mother who had just given birth said traditional midwives don’t insult patients and treat them with care.
Attempts to speak to Salima District Health Officer proved futile.
Malawi ranks second from Sierra Leone in Africa with the highest number of maternal deaths. Pres Joyce Banda wants Malawi to improve its standing and is pouring resources in safe motherhood awareness efforts.
“As a government we are determined to change the situation and…declare that no woman should die of maternal complications,” Banda is on record as saying.
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