USAID continues to be a key partner of the Government of Malawi (GOM) in supporting efforts to improve maternal health outcomes. USAID is focusing on integrated support for strengthening the health system at community, facility, district, zonal, and central levels to deliver better services, and focus resources on evidence-based practices for improving maternal outcomes.
Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios globally, currently estimated at 675/100,000 live births, down from 1120 per 100,000 live births in 2000. Adolescent pregnancies comprise 25% of all births and 20% of maternal deaths. Some of the underlying causes of the high maternal death rates include early childbearing and the numerous pregnancies women experience. Although maternal mortality declined significantly from 984 to 675/100,000 between 2004 and 2010, it is still an alarming rate.
Interventions support the roadmap for accelerating reduction in maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality through implementation of proven high impact interventions at household and village/community levels, and improved services to provide a continuum of care for women and children. Priorities are: strengthening Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health policies, standards and guidelines; mobilizing communities for increased adoption of individual, household, and community behaviors that positively impact the health of mothers and newborns; and training providers in basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care. USAID assistance has complemented President Joyce Banda’s Safe Motherhood Initiative, which has declared that Traditional Birth Attendants should not attend deliveries of pregnant women and that pregnant women should deliver in a health facility with skilled attendants.
USAID’S Child Health program focuses on improving the effectiveness and accessibility of child health and nutrition services through community-based approaches, with a focus on village clinics and community health volunteers, to deliver a package of high-impact child health and nutrition interventions (preventive and selected treatment).
One maternal death is one too many
Funding (FY 2012)
SSDI, Min of Health Reproductive Health Unit, Mwaiwamoyo Save the Children, MCHIP, CDC, CHAM, Nkhoma Synod WASH, Chisu, World Learning
Miriam Lutz, Chief
Office of Health
Last updated: October 04, 2013