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Zomba maternity shelter

Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi, and European Union Ambassador for Humanitarian Causes, H.E. Tasha de Vasconcelos, on 1st January 2013, laid a foundati on stone for a maternity shelter at Domasi, Zomba in Southern Malawi.

The Presidenti al Initiative on maternal health and safe motherhood

President Banda, a champion of safe motherhood and maternal health, is keen to see that no woman dies while giving birth. Presently, 675 women for every 100,000 live births die of maternal related complicati ons. “This is unacceptable and with the assistance of well-wishers like Tasha, I will do all I can to ensure that we reverse the situati on,” she said at the rural hospital where she was born some 62 years ago.

She commended Tasha for her support and commitment to help Malawian women. “You are loved in Malawi because of your work and you are not known as Madalitso (Blessings for nothing),” said the Malawi leader who has so far mobilized support for the constructi on of six waiti ng homes across the country since she ascended to the presidency in April last year.

Tasha who was born in Mozambique and was adopted by Malawi, said she has a passion for Malawi and in parti cular Malawian women, “who have touched my heart”. “I am speaking today on behalf of all women, wives, single mothers, daughters and sisters. We can join together to help change and make a difference.”

“In my role as European Union Ambassador for Humanitarian Causes, I will conti nue my work of serving. As an Internati onal supermodel, I encourage all you young people to follow your dreams because anything is possible with hard work.”


Goal: To accelerate the reducti on of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Objectives: To increase availability, accessibility, uti lizati on and quality of skilled obstetric care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period at all levels of the health care delivery system.

To strengthen the capacity of individuals, families, communiti es, Civil Society Organizati ons and Government to improve Maternal and Neonatal Health.

Interventions: Currently, the initi ati ve is implementi ng different activities to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths in the country.

Community mobilization and training of chiefs: Capacity development of chiefs, opinion leaders and their communiti es is part of integrati ng development  knowledge for nati onal development strategies.

Training of skilled community midwives: Increase numbers of skilled and trained midwives. 158 community midwifery students are in various CHAM nursing colleges. Plans to train over 1000 community midwives by 2014.


Shelters are being built to ensure close monitoring of pregnant mothers and encouragement to seek quality maternal health care. Seven shelters are being constructed in various districts; Mulanje shelter has been complete and handed over. These are under constructi on, Dowa shelter Balaka shelter, Karonga shelter, Mchinji Mkanda shelter, Lumbadzi shelter and Maternity Unit at Senior Chief Kwataine’s. The Maternity unit has been completed and only requires furniture, staffi  ng and medical equipment.


Training of 1000 community midwives by 2014. Each student at U$ 3000.
Construction of 130 Maternity waiting shelters.
Each shelter for 32 beds at U$ 80 000.
Each shelter for 24 beds at U$ 70 000

Training of over 20 000 Chiefs by 2014.
At least 6 000 at U$ 200 per chief amounting to U$ 1.2 million per year.
Drugs, equipment and resources for midwifery care at maternity units.