Advocacy, Philosophy

Launch of 10,000 Happy Birthdays Continuation Project in Malawi

31 October 2018

Launch of 10,000 Happy Birthdays Continuation Project in Malawi

The Association of Malawian Midwives (AMAMI) launched the 10,000 Happy Birthdays continuation project on 18 October 2018. The event took place at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe, Malawi. The Guest of honour for the launch was Dr. Dan Namarika, Secretary for Ministry of Health and Population in Malawi. Other invited guests included the President of Bwaila Rotary Club, Kingsley Mulewa, Joseph Chavula of Rotary Club of Bwaila, UNFPA Representative in Malawi- Young Hong, Director of Nursing and Midwifery services in the Ministry of Health Mrs Tulipoka Soko. International Confederation of Midwives was represented by Martha Bokosi-Project coordinator

The event was attended by about 70 people including representatives from implementing districts, midwifery institution, partners and the media.

Objectives of the project:

  • To train up to 1,500 (each country) midwives and other health workers in selected districts in Malawi.
  • To ensure skill maintenance and quality improvement of life-saving skills at birth.
  • To enhance the uptake and institutionalisation of Helping Mothers Survive and Helping Babies Survive modules as training and teaching methods.
  • To advocate for enabling working environments for midwives and other Maternal Newborn Health (MNH) providers in Malawi
  • To further develop the capacity of the associations in their ability to offer (re-licensure) accredited Continued Professional Development training, to midwives and other MNH providers.

AMAMI also utilised the occasion to launch their new strategic plan for 2018-2022. The new Strategic Framework focuses on:

  • Positioning, recognition and identity for midwives and the midwifery practice
  • Misconduct in midwifery practice
  • Capacity development for AMAMI
  • Resource Mobilisation

In his remarks, the guest of honour:

Reflected on the status of health issues in the country:

  • There has steady increase in life expectancy attributed by improved HIV case management and improvement in nutrition as a result of farm input subsidy.
  • Four districts implementing Results Based Financing have yielded 4-fold increase in the set indicators.

However, some areas still need more attention;

  • The MMR is still unacceptably high at 439/100,000 live births. He emphasised that every maternal death is 100 per cent death to the family because of the implications, hence the relevance of the 10,000 Happy Birthdays project
  • Respectful Maternity Care to be strengthened
  • The need to incentivise family planning services to reduce further the fertility rate and increase access of FP services for the adolescents and related this to the average age of teenage pregnancy which is at 17 years.

He further informed members present that:

That Department of Human Resources has authorised recruitment of additional 1,500 health workers including midwives.

Housing project for midwives and other health workers working in hard to reach areas is on track and will be a great incentive for working in hard to reach areas.

He further highlighted that the AMAMI’s Strategic Plan is well aligned to the Health Sector Strategic Plan and he expressed the need to work every closely together. He indicated seeing a number of interventions under the Essential Health Package that could be implemented by AMAMI on behalf of the Ministry e.g. roll out of Results Based Financing, Adolescent Health, private midwifery practice to increase access to care, FP and RMC. AMAMI can be engaged through service agreement with the Ministry of Health. 

Finally, he thanked Rotary international through Rotary Club of Bwaila and Laerdal Global Health for the financial support to the 10,000 Happy Birthdays continuation project and ICM for technical support and declared the project and AMAMI strategic plan launched.