Shocking revelations from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that Malawi is one of the countries in the world with the highest number of babies who are born prematurely.
According to a report seen by this publication, about 18 in every 100 babies are born before the recommended nine months in Malawi while across the world the rate stands at 10 percent.
This is said to be coming as a result of poor diet and lack of access to antenatal services especially in the remotest areas of the country.
Apart from that, most women who usually give birth to premature babies are said to be those having the problem of insufficient blood and are prone to malaria.
In his comment on the matter, minister of health Peter Kumpalume confessed his awareness on the problem and he also assumed that the predicament came due to lack of access to antenatal services in the rural areas.
He however promised that government through his ministry will work round the clock in a bid to reduce and if possible overcome the problem.
Director of reproductive health in the same ministry Fanny Kachali told our reporter on Monday that solutions to the problem will include sensitizing pregnant women on the required procedures to be followed for someone to avoid facing the fate.
“This will include making them aware of the best diet they must be taking when pregnant. We have observed that poor diet is also another thing that is fuelling the problem,” she said.
In his response, acting director for Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN), Lloyd Mtalimanja, said the problem is scaring because Malawi is ranked as one of the countries with the highest number of premature babies.
He therefore called upon all stakeholders to help government in a bid to reduce the problem across the country. He noted that one of the solutions can be the construction of health centres in remote areas of the country.
He said: “It is pathetic to learn that some pregnant women in the country have to travel about 30 kilometres to access health services. In such a situation you can never expect our country to reduce the problem. Let’s join hands in overcoming the dilemma by making sure our expectant mothers are accessing antenatal services near them.”