As the momentum grows for the forthcoming Mother’s Fun Run, a number of prominent officials continue to speak about the initiative. On this occasion, mayor of the City of Blantyre Wild Ndipo speaks to EDWIN NYIRONGO. Excerpts:
Nation Publications Limited (NPL) will hold Mother’s Fun Run in Blantyre on October 7 2017. What are your expectations?
My expectations are high, especially that this event is happening right here in the City of Blantyre. It is pleasing to note that such efforts are meant to save the lives of our fellow Malawians who would not afford to access alternative health care from any of the private clinics. Blantyre City hosts the majority of the population compared with Blantyre rural/district, hence putting pressure on public health facilities which are mainly financed by the government. Therefore, to have fund raising activities such as the Mother’s Fun Run will go a long way to alleviate the challenges that public health facilities experience in the city. This fun run ought to be patronised by corporate residents we have in the city to exercise their social responsibility.
What are the maternal and neonatal challenges in public hospitals in Blantyre?
This question can ably be answered by our colleagues on the ground. Suffice to say such challenges are very common in all our public health facilities, hence the
How can these problems affect the development agenda of your city?
The problems experienced by mothers and new born babies have immediate and long-term consequences. In the short-term, if mothers experience complications at child birth, they are bound to affect the entire family. The husband has to take care of the home, besides the wife who spends more time in bed than usual. This results in economic under performance of our city. This is equally true with the gift of conception, the new born presents with complications. In the long-term, any compromise in the health of the new born [baby] has far reaching consequences either intellectually or productivity of the person in the adult life due to compromised health. Such persons would not be expected to contribute much in the development agenda of the city such as productivity of the industry which is the engine of development.
How best can NPL fun run help to reduce the maternal challenges in hospitals in Blantyre?
I am sure that the assistance that may come along from the fun run will help greatly in the public hospitals in Blantyre, but the best thing is to sit down with our technical officers to identify the key drivers of poor maternal and neonatal health and use the best knowledge available to address the problem. It could be in the area of infrastructure improvement such as maternity wings, provision of life saving and infection prevention equipment, medical and pharmaceutical supplies and emergency transport/ vehicles, just to mention a few.
What role will you and Blantyre City Council (BCC) play in this year’s initiative?
As this event is happening right here in Blantyre City, our presence is inevitable. We will actively participate at all levels. We are available to offer support right from the planning stages until the implementation.
What message do you have for the corporate world in terms of supporting Mother’s Fun Run project?
To the corporate world, it is time they realised that for the success of any company or industry, everyone matters from the managing director to that small officer like a messenger, cleaner or security guard. Let’s think
In the short term, if mothers experience complications at child birth, they are bound to affect the entire family.
The story is part of a series of articles for 2017 Mother’s Fun Run Project whose aim is to mobilise resources for Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) and its 26 health centres in Blantyre.
of those junior officers that, when they or their families fall sick, they go to public health facilities which are in a poor state. Let us invest in their social well-being. They should be able to access better health care in a better health facility and attended to by motivated health care workers. However small a company may be, it can do something at this year’s NPL Mother’s Fun Run by supporting the initiative and get investment returns through a happy and productive workforce because it receives better quality health care in public clinics.
There have been situations where medical equipment were donated to hospitals, but due to lack of care, they get damaged within a short period of time. What message do you have to hospital authorities in terms of taking care of equipment which Mother’s Fun Run donates?
Care is needed in handling these equipment to avoid breakdowns. The users of any equipment should be familiar with its operating manuals and be able to know when the equipment requires service. That is done even to those who own vehicles. You don’t wait for the vehicle to breakdown before you change oils and other routine service parts. The same should be practiced with medical equipment. So, the users should be trained before they start operating the equipment. Besides, we all need to regard public equipment as our own investment for all Malawians that should benefit ourselves and the generations to come.
Support the project by contacting
Albert Banda Vanessa – Enala Banda
0888 846 277/0992 819 65 0991 920 276 0888 364 616