Malawi President Joyce Banda on Monday laid a foundation stone for a K35 million (about $87 500) sponsored by the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) .
The President, speaking at Ntcheu District Hospital, encouraged the private sector to help government in the maternal health and safe motherhood initiative.
“The private sector has a role and capacity to assist in this initiative. There have been a number of private sector institutions that have helped the government under the initiative and I thank them for that. Maternal health and safe motherhood initiative is my personal crusade because I had my own experience.
“We have so far reduced maternal deaths to 400 from 680 [per 100 000 live births] since last year. We aim to reach 115 deaths but still that is not welcome because no woman should die while giving birth. We target to construct 20 maternity waiting homes by end of this year,” she said.
Escom board chairperson Morgan Tembo, speaking earlier at the ceremony, said they are pleased to touch lives and complement the government in economic development through their corporate social responsibility policy.
“Escom’s corporate social responsibility has been realigned from sports to investments in projects aimed at supporting education, food security, health facilities, environmental preservation and provision of electricity to public facilities like schools.
“We are glad to partner with you, under the Presidential Initiative on Safe Motherhood Programme, by building a modern maternity waiting home that will reduce the burden of pregnant women walking long distance,” said Tembo.
According to Escom, the maternity waiting home will be fitted with solar water heaters and modern light emitting diode bulbs to reduce running energy costs. Escom will also fit electric insect killing equipment and provide furniture for the maternity home.