Dr. Joseph Scalafani
Dr. Joseph Scalafani making his presentation about maternal deaths in Malawi

Austin, Texas (MaraviPost): Out of a great tragedy a movement arose. On November 4th at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe No Woman Should Die Giving Birth (NWSDGB) became a Movement in Malawi with lots of supporters in the Diaspora.

1st July 2016, Elita Singini Tsoka a beautiful woman and mother of two lost her life giving birth at MASM clinic in Lilongwe. Her doctors and all other medical staff “perhaps” did everything possible to save her life and her three babies – no one knows yet.

Dying while giving Birth
Hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal death in Africa

Following the preventable death of Elita Singini, Family, friends and many others said enough is enough and started putting together a plan to launch a movement to prevent tragedies like Elita’s affecting Malawian families in future.
The group on its Facebook page writes “We aim to increase awareness of maternal deaths among citizens in Malawi and diaspora, and mobilize resources in support of maternal health in Malawi”.

With such lofty goals it is understandable that the newly launched grouped seeks support from within and outside the country.

Guest of Honor; Mr. Chimwemwe Chipungu listened to testimonies from families that have lost mothers and sisters while giving birth in similar circumstances. Among those that shared was Salom Tsoka talking about the loss of his wife “Elita” in whose memory this effort was born.
Many people shared their hope that the movement will succeed. Mose Tsoka wrote on the groups Facebook page; “Congratulations for the successful launch of the initiative to save one more life!”
A Gentleman commented, maternal deaths have become an epidemic in our country. Our cultures may have something to do with this scary outcome of pregnancy. If this proposition is true, then all of us as citizens can contribute by talking about maternity and maternal care, the compassion that our women deserve from husbands, family and MOST of all from our healthcare system.

Kettie Seymour in developed countries every pregnancy is assessed and if your risk is higher, you are straight away offered the option of a planned C-section. I only hope Malawi can do the same at least identifying the risks at an early stage to save lives. But my honest thoughts are that we don’t have the resources and infrastructure for this. Maybe this is an area campaigners and charities should be looking into.

Mairi Fiona Thomson I think the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Death we use in the UK is a really good way to learn important lessons from every maternal death, so we can keep improving

Libby Mooney Would love to join you but you are a bit far away from the UK, I will continue to do my best to raise awareness of your efforts to improve the lives of women in Malawi – 1 day I will get there
Another person encouraged citizens to get involved in problem solving.
The Causes of women dying unnecessary are many, just listening to Healthcare workers in the country will leave you in disbelief.

Over Worked Nurses and Under Staffed Hospitals
A Nurse working at KCH commented: imagine all patients with ruptured uteruses referred from Dedza or Mchinji, in the name of lack of blood. Our health centers, very pathetic, too much work, one midwife against 100 women, how are you going to handle them? … I sometimes cry when I receive a referred woman who has been in labor for 3 days and comes whilst baby is dead. A lot is happening, root cause: government not supplying enough materials, schools for midwifes

The Objectives of the Group are
• increase awareness of the state of maternal deaths in Malawi
• mobilize resources in support of maternal health
• advocate for a transparent investigation into every maternal death in Malawi
Those interested in supporting the group are encouraged to contact or join them on Facebook or some of the organizing officers listed below.

Organizing Members
David Patrick Nkhwazi (Chair)
Dr. Judith Kamoto (Vice Chair)
Alan Chawani (Secretary)
Dorothy Mkondiwa Mataya (Publicity Secretary)
Takondwa Mankhambera Kabambe (Treasurer)
Evance Mwale (Vice Treasurer)
Dalitso Nseula (Members)
Estere Tsoka
Mervin Donga
Ndaona Mataya
Emily Singini Mwale
Dzilire Nkhoma
Chimwemwe Kabambe
Beatrice Mponda
Salom Tsoka