Written by Joseph Mbughi
Midwife technicians say there is a rise in home births at Kameme in Chitipa because women ignore advice they get from health personnel and due to poor roads in the district.
This was disclosed during consultations that Impath had with community leaders and community members with the aim of knowing the cause of the problem.
According to statistics from Kameme health facility, about 1,338 women give birth in the area every year but 43% of women get delivery at the hospital while 57% give birth at home.
Midwife Technician Lindani Katumbi said most of the women around health facilities do not go to await labor at the place hence they also report late in labor while some deliver on their way to the hospital and others deliver at home which is a threat to their health.
“Delivering at home is very dangerous. It can lead to maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality, so if they come to hospital in time they are helped accordingly,” Katumbi said.
She also asked the women that they should be going earlier for antenatal consultations, whereby, they receive medical treatment according to their condition and the condition of the unborn baby.
However, volunteer community health (VCH) Myless Namkonda said women are delivering at home because of poor communication of roads that connect their communities and the hospital.
She added that rainy season the road became slippery which become unpassable hindering the women to go and give birth while at the hospital.
Namkonda added that pregnant women fear more to be at the facility waiting for the day of deliverance due to poor accommodation and they liken the waiting facility to prison.
Senior Chief Kameme during the meeting urged the local leaders in the community to be vigilant in their villages so that all women should be giving birth at hospital to reduce the number of women who are dying when delivering.
He also warned them that if women continue doing the same in their community they will be charged K20,000 as a penalty.