Organisation faults by-laws enforcement


White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) Malawi, a movement which promotes reproductive maternal and newborn rights, says enforcement of some by-laws by chiefs under Traditional Authority (T/A) Wimbe is not working in favour of women.

The bylaws prescribe that those who deliver at home should be fined.

However, WRA has noted that in the health facilities around the area, women pay their fines to health workers for delivering at home.

Dowa bylaws impose fines on pregnant women who deliver at home

According to Stanley Mguda a member of community working together with WRA Malawi and chairperson of Wimbe Gender-Based Violence Network, the by-laws were put in place in consultation with chiefs to protect the women from dying while delivering in the hands of traditional birth attendants.

“The women are forced to pay just to deter them from repeating the same things that are killing women and babies,” said Mguda.

He added that the chiefs are the ones that are enforcing the bylaws in the villages but admitted that there are occasions that women have paid in health facilities.

WRA Malawi national coordinator Nancy Kamwendo said the by-laws should to be administered at village level while the women must be helped fully at the health facility.

Nema Phiri, a member of WRA who is also a matron at Lilongwe District Health Office (DHO), said if the health facilities will be collecting fines, women will fear going to the hospital. n

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