White Ribbon Alliance

Malawi

White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, Malawi

Nancy Kamwendo
National Coordinator


NANCY KAMWENDO

WRA Malawi
c/o PACHI
P.O. Box 31686
Lilongwe
Area 14/171
Malawi

mobile: 888 838 525
nancykamwendo@yahoo.co.uk

Capital City
Lilongwe
Population
15,879,252
Lifetime risk of maternal death
1 in 36
Maternal Mortality Ratio
460
Births attended by skilled personnel
54%
Source: World Health Statistics 2015, WHO
Countdown to 2015: Maternal, Newborn, & Child Survival. Click here for the Malawi country profile.   UN Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child commitment: Malawi will strengthen human resources for health, accelerate training and recruitment of health professionals to fill all available positions in the health sector; expand infrastructures for maternal, newborn and child health; increase basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care coverage; and provide free care through partnerships with private institutions. The above statement is an edited commitment. Please click here to read the full commitment.
In Malawi, an overall shortage of midwives, coupled with poor working conditions and status, are affecting the provision of high-quality maternity care for women. As a result, many women are giving birth at home without skilled attendants, increasing the risk of maternal and neonatal illness and death. The Government of Malawi has made a commitment to strengthen human resources for health, including accelerating training and recruitment of health professionals to fill all available positions in the health sector.

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

The White Ribbon Alliance in Malawi (WRAM) is working to support the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality through advocacy to promote midwifery. In 2013, WRAM, through the USAID-funded Health Policy Project, launched “Happy Midwives for Happy and Healthy Mothers” - a campaign to draw attention to the poor status and substandard working conditions of midwives and the impact on the provision of high-quality care. WRAM advocated for:

  • The provision of adequate resources to address the gap in the number of midwives, and including a specific budget line for midwifery services.
  • A clear career path for the midwifery profession, including the establishment of a direct-entry midwifery program.
  • Increased respect and improved working conditions for midwives.
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    TIMELINE AND PROGRESS

  • WRAM published policy brief on statues of midwifery, the government’s progress in meeting its commitments and recommendations to policy makers to establish specific budget line for midwifery services.
  • The Directorate of Nursing at the Ministry of Health was renamed Directorate of Nursing and Midwifery, colleges were renamed Colleges of Nursing and Midwifery as well.
  • Midwifery became included in election debates and commitments by politicians.
  • 2014 WRAM presented a petition signed by over 4,000 citizens calling on the Government and the Parliament to take action in order to bolster midwifery.
  • 2013 WRAM launched its Happy Midwives for Happy and Healthy Mothers campaign.
  • 2012 WRA Malawi gathered evidence through organized consultations with community members, midwives, and professional associations to understand what issues of their midwifery services.



  • RESOURCES

    Case Study: SUPPORTING MIDWIVES, SUPPORTING MOTHERS, WRA Malawi in Action

    Summary of a Count of Bedside Midwives in Malawi

    Investing in Midwifery in Malawi: Delivering on Commitments -- Policy Brief



    NEWS & BLOGS

    Government of Malawi petitioned over increased maternal mortality



    LOOKING FORWARD

    WRA Malawi is well-positioned to continue to advocate for a higher visibility and improved capacity of midwives in Malawi. The Alliance has demonstrated that midwives are imperative in reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. WRA Malawi will continue to advocate for the Members of Parliament and the Ministry of Health to establish a budget line for midwifery health services. However, gaining recognition and funding is only the first step towards a larger goal. Moving forward, WRA Malawi will promote respectful maternity care by engaging midwives to improve attitudes and client-provider interaction. WRAM will empower midwives to self-advocate for resources, training and support that are essential to providing safe, supportive and high-quality care for women.