MamaYe Malawi put up an impressive display during the dissemination event recently held at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe as the campaign draws to a close after five years.
Patrons from various sectors-government, health, CSOs and media-converged to the venue to hear of E4A-MamaYe achievements in helping to reduce maternal and new-born deaths. After five years of its work on Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH) in the country, MamaYe Malawi showcased its work to the public on how it has contributed to MNH in order to save the lives of both mothers and babies.
In her opening speech, the guest of honour, Fannie Kachale, Director of Reproductive Health under the Ministry of Health, thanked MamaYe for the work it has been doing in the health sector by giving technical support to the government.
“MamaYe has supported the government to strengthen how district implementation teams gather and analyse data for decision-making. With the support of MamaYe, our teams have increased their technical skills around quality of institutional care assessments, maternal death surveillance and response, and health budget transparency,” said Fannie.
Fannie further pointed out MamaYe has been a supportive partner to the Ministry of Health by helping with the coordination of blood donations and always providing up-to-date data and evidence on current issues.
A special mention was made on the role of MamaYe Malawi’s super activists who have been conducting awareness campaigns advocating and encouraging pregnant mothers to go deliver at a health facility.
The participants were treated to a display of the various activities which have helped MamaYe Malawi be where it is now after having made a strong impact. The delegates were taken around the room to appreciate how Quality Institutional Care (QuIC) has been used to identify gaps at various health facilities and drive communities into action. They were also shown how Health Budget Advocacy (HBA) has been a driving force for councils to be transparent and accountable on the resource allocation towards the health sector in the three districts of Nkhata Bay, Mzimba, and Rumphi. Activists also took their turn on how they have been using evidence produced via QuIC to mobilise resources need for the health facilities, and also the various activities they are engaged in in their communities.
Abigail Nyaka, Water Aid Program Officer, commended MamaYe Malawi on its various initiatives in MNH.
“The event was powerful as we vividly saw the fruits that MamaYe brought to the government and communities around Mzimba, Nkhata Bay and Rumphi districts so that the mothers and pregnant women receive essential maternal and new-born care,” said Abigail.
Abigail further says, “One thing that was really touching was to hear from the activists themselves on the efforts that are being done, suffice to say the legacy that the campaign has left, is worth replicating in other districts.”
Abigail mentioned to have picked up that the communities should be exposed with data and make sound decisions to improve the conditions of their own health facilities.
WaterAid is implementing a project on improving access to, and use of, sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services in communities and health facilities in the districts of Kasungu, Machinga and Nkhotakota.
Honourable Viktor Musowa, Deputy Vice Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Health, when commenting on the HBA, expressed appreciation on how councils and community leaders have been held to be accountable to their people in the use of finances.
“If we politicians are transparent and accountable, then we will not have a challenge in getting financial assistance from donors or other organizations. It is important that we are transparent accountable with the resources,” said MP Viktor.
Such commitments shown by politicians have been evident during district dissemination meetings which have been organized by MamaYe. The politicians have made commitments to be transparent on how finances at district councils have been used. The district councils have been able to display their finances to the public on public notice boards. The districts have also made commitments to have internal auditors to audit how the finances are being used.
In his parting words addressing the media, Mathias Chatuluka, MamaYe Team Leader, said MamaYe will always be here, it’s only the faces of MamaYe technical support team which will be gone. The campaign will live on in the work and lives of the activists, District Implementing Teams (DIT) and councillors. They are the people who have been entrusted to carry on doing the work to keep alive the MamaYe campaign.