Our current plans for a Maternity Unit
“On average, women in labour walk 4 – 5 hours over steep hills and uneven rocky paths to reach care. These journeys present even greater challenges at night and during the rainy season, often resulting in tragic consequences for mother and child.”
AMECA commissioned a Maternity Needs Assessment for the entire region, to identify gaps in service provision so we could understand the level of need for localised Maternity Services.
This study enabled AMECA to make an informed decision, backed up by thorough research, on the requirement and justification for a new maternity clinic at Chilaweni. The report revealed that 24% of the population consists of Women of Child Bearing Age, 18% of children being below the age of 5 years and 5% children being under 1 year.
Women face difficulties in accessing obstetric services due to the distance, terrain and high cost of travel to the nearest health facility. and on average, a pregnant woman walks about 4 – 5 hours to reach care. For most villages, pregnant women have to navigate through uneven steep hills and these journeys present severe challenges when in early labour, at night and during the rainy season, often resulting in tragic consequences for mother and child.
Architects plans were drawn up and a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Blantyre District Health Office.
On the 9th September, 2019, construction began on the maternity unit and 2 staff duplex houses, providing accommodation for another 4 staff members and their families.
AMECA has commissioned The Mlambe Health & Social Trust, MhEST to deliver an 18 month maternity staff training programme, following completion of the building phase. MhEST will also deliver an 18 month community education programme, to include family planning, care of the mother and newborn and income producing initiatives for the women in the clinic catchment villages.
On the 9th October, a Foundation Stone ceremony was held at Chilaweni, to mark the commencement of the building project. Read about the ceremony at this link.
We are amazed at the progress being made on site with the constuction; barely one month after the start of the building, foundations are being completed and the sections of the main clinic can now be identified.
2 duplex houses are being constructed, which will provide 4 more homes for staff members and their families.
The above photo shows the hardcore being laid on one of the duplex constructions.
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