The establishment of Health Centre by Phone (Chipatala Cha Pa Foni ) will go a long way in reducing maternal and child mortality rates in Malawi, United States (US) Ambassador Virginia Palmer has said.
She made the remarks last week during the launch of Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF) Hotline at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe.
“Malawi is among countries with the highest rates of maternal, child, and infant mortality in the world, and, as such, it is important to know where and when to seek care. That is why we commend the government of Malawi for embracing and supporting the CCPF initiative which is critical to reducing maternal and child mortality rates,” said Palmer.
CCPF which was created and introduced by Village Reach in partnership with Airtel Malawi, is now owned by the Malawi Government.
Through CCPF, women and caregivers can also sign up to receive personal text or voice reminders on maternal and child health topics specific to their month of pregnancy or their child’s age.
Palmer added that CCPF is also a vital tool for adolescents to get information on HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health as it provides personalised health information.
In his remarks, Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi, who was the guest of honour during the launch, said though CCPF was originally developed as a maternal and child health innovation, it has now evolved to become a general health hotline covering topics including tuberculosis, HIV, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health and even cholera .
“We see CCPF service as a key part of our strategy to improve health for all Malawians. We see it as a critical tool in helping to reach the 74 percent of our population who live in rural communities where barriers to healthcare access are the greatest,” he said.
Currently, the service is accessed in Balaka, Nkhotakota, Mulanje, Ntcheu, Mchinji, Dedza, Salima, Machinga and Zomba, according to Village Reach country director Carla Blauvelt.
CCPF is a toll-free health hotline that creates a link between a health centre and its remote communities.
Its staff comprises trained health workers who provide information and referrals over the phone.
The US government is supporting the initiative technically and financially. n