Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Martha Chizuma has urged women to be vigilant in fighting corruption, saying they are often hit hard by corruption effects.
The ACB director general said this at Kangolwa Health Centre in Ntchisi on Friday, Mother’s Day, when she presented assorted medical supplies donated and shipped by Malawi Health Care Support (Mahecas) UK.
Said Chizuma: “Women are the biggest victims of corruption, because corruption takes away public resources. It depletes the public revenue and primary public services, such as health care and education suffer. And when all these things are not there, it is the women who suffer most. Therefore, I was urging them to be angry at corruption and should be in the forefront talking against it.”
She further reminded them that as mothers they have a huge role to play in nurturing an ethical population in the country as the newly born babies will be the ones holding leadership positions in society in the future, which means that getting it wrong now will lead to the country having thieves as principal secretaries, thieves as lawyers or doctors and so on.
In 2018, the ACB director was among the many women who took the Mother’s Fun Run sleepover challenge organized by Nation Publications Limited (NPL). During the sleepover challenge, she witnessed firsthand the hurdles that women face during child birth and the struggles that personnel at the health centre, which has a catchment population of about 18 730, go through in their efforts to provide health care.
The Mahecas UK support was in response to Chizuma’s call for support to the facility, which she highlighted after the sleepover challenge.
She described the 2018 experience as an eye-opener.
Said Chizuma: “The one night that I spent at Kangolwa Health Centre was such an eye opener to me to the challenges that women in rural areas face during childbirth. When giving examples of how mismanagement of public funds can affect others, I always have Kangolwa Health Centre in mind. Money is being misappropriated which could help to buy simple things that could save lives.”
Apart from the medical supplies and baby clothes supplied by Mahecas, Chizuma added zitenje, water buckets, soap, and sugar for the women at the rural health facility which is 45 kilometres from the district hospital.
While thanking Chizuma for the gesture, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kasakula urged hospital officials to put the supplies to good use.
“We are glad that you fought this fight for people of Kangolwa. It was easy for you to decide that you will do this for your own area where you come from, but instead you thought of us,” he said.
On her part, Ntchisi district nursing officer Brenda Gausi said the items will help people of Ntchisi for a long time.
“As we went through the boxes, we were grinning because the items that we found in there, will make our work easier. We could not have managed to source these things on our own. These items will help us for a long time, and to show our appreciation, we will take care of them,” she said.
The sleepover challenge is an initiative under NPL’s Mother’s Fun Run project whereby people spend one night in the maternity ward of a public health facility to have a feel of what pregnant women go through during childbirth.
The aim is to raise funds to buy equipment that can help the affected health facilities to provide better maternal health care, thereby reducing maternal and child deaths in the country.