Pregnancy was something that scared first time mother Tadala Namakhoma as she had no one around to advise her on what to do during the period.
Living together with her husband Stevie Namakhoma in the commercial city of Blantyre with relatives and elders back in the village, Tadala had no one to give advice to her on what to do and not to do during pregnancy.
Her free time to chat with neighbors with babies in her neighborhood to give her tips concerning her pregnancy was limited, with workload of lecturing at the University of Polytechnic, a constituent college of University of Malawi (UNIMA).
For Tadala, now mother to Martin Namakhoma, WhatsApp became a hub where she got most advice that led her to deliver baby Martin without any maternal complication.
Namakhoma joined a WhatsApp group for her to know the issues related to pregnancy and to land to motherhood safely.
“As for me I wanted to learn more so I had to join the group, some of the things are even comfortable talking to someone you can’t see face to face and most of my friends that time didn’t have kids so I couldn’t ask them for help,” she explained.
She narrated further to have had a WhatsApp group as a pool of knowledge on pregnancy related issues she was bothered with.
“I got encouragements from fellow women that I should never miss visiting the hospital for antenatal care and to go to the hospital for any serious questions or any abnormal feelings,” she added to the explanation.
This seems to be completing government efforts on safe motherhood in the country as it encourages pregnant women befriend health facilities until the birth of the child.
Chief Director of Safe Motherhood in Malawi Chimwemwe Chipungu applauds such initiatives saying they complement efforts to lower maternal deaths in the country.
“If these women do give each other advice that is in line with safe motherhood, then we don’t have a problem and we are happy for such groups,” said Chipungu in an interview with Malawi24.
Chipungu urged stakeholders in the health sector to continue supporting government in ensuring safe motherhood.
Malawi is among countries with high record of maternal deaths. Many women are reported to have been failing to visit health centres for safe delivery a problem that has been causing deaths to women.