Masters Public healthMaternal and Child Health

Maternal and Child Health in Malawi

Maternal & Child Health Malawi

The Government of Malawi and Ministry of Health focuses on improving Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health by preventing maternal and child deaths at district and central level.

Maternal and Child Health (MCH)

Malawi has shown to have highest neonatal and maternal mortality rate in Africa. Poor maternal health increases premature births, reduces birth-weight and negatively impacts neonatal outcomes. Women during pregnancy and childbirth face problems like anaemia, malaria or lack of transportation to a health facility. Social, economic, political, cultural and environmental structures influence maternal and child health outcomes. Women belonging to low and middle income families deliver without the assistance of a skilled birth attendant inhibiting utilisation of maternal healthcare services

The psychological, physical and socio-economic consequences on the teenage mother have made teenage pregnancy a major health and social problem in Malawi. Low contraceptive use, early sex and marriage, low socio-economic status, low educational levels, lack of reproductive and sexual health, gender inequity and physical or sexual violence are factors responsible for high rate of teenage pregnancy.

Malawian Health Services

Every woman should have access to family planning and healthcare services necessary for women and children.Unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions can be avoided by utilization of family planning methods.The need to strengthen health policies and guidelines related to mother and child, adoption of positive behaviour by communities, improve maternal and child health, imparting basic obstetric and neonatal care to health workers.The main factors targeted are reproductive health indicators, community perceptions of maternal and child mortality,utilisation of healthcare resources for maternal and child health.

Improvement in delivery of quality healthcare and health interventions to women in a cost effective manner is essential. The health centers have to be adequately resourced to impart basic emergency obstetric care. It is essential to improve specific quality healthcare activities in clinical practices for better outcomes to prevent post-partum haemorrhage and asphyxia. The Malawian Ministry of Health has encouraged delivery at healthcare facilities and banned the use of traditional birth attendants. There has been an increase in qualified staff and other resources to meet the maternal and child health demands.The decline in Malawi infant mortality is due to wide-spread immunisation of infants, female education and availability of skilled birth attendants.

Challenges faced by the health system to meet quality improvement include capacity constraints and competing priorities in Health management structures and external environment of health system. The acceptance of integrated approach by policy makers in developing evidence based interventions to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality is increasing. The combined intervention approach has reduced neonatal, perinatal and maternal mortality. The changes in health policy and increase in health facility deliveries have benefited women and children. Along with community based intervention other strategies employed to improve health outcomes in women include health education, bicycle ambulances and mosquito bed nets. The strategies like health education, voluntary HIV counselling, testing for HIV, village savings and loans have been successfully implemented. Womens group facilitators were effectively functioning due to satisfaction with working conditions.

Online Course in Public health (Online MPH)

James Lind Institute (JLI) provides an online program – Masters in Public Health (MPH) to understand maternal and child health problems.

For more information please visit:

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks