Maimwana organized its first open day on 20th August, 2015, under the theme “improving the lives of mothers and children using community sustainable interventions” to showcase all activities done in the community it was the community’s initiative. The event took place at Fanuel school grounds in Mchinji district. This was an opportunity for the community in the district and else where to know Maimwana interventions. Women group facilitators, infant feeding counsellors, male motivators, community maternal death review volunteers and Key Informants displayed their work.
The event was attended by government departments’, council members and other stake holders from Mchinji and Lilongwe. Other notable figures were; The District Commissioner (DC), Member of Parliament (MP) of the constituency, councillor of the area, all Traditional Authorities (TA) Professor Anthony Costello. Guest of honour was the DC. The day was marked by songs, drama, poems dances and speeches
The project Manager with introduction remarks
The project manager introduced and gave a brief back ground on Maimwana project saying the project started following high rates of maternal and infant deaths in the district in 2003.Believing that if the community can be mobilized and sensitized through women groups, peer counselling and male involvement in maternal health issues this would bring about behaviour change that would have a positive effect on maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. Through these interventions men have been able to accept to accompany and participate in maternal health issues as evidenced by men that sitting beside their partners in Antenatal clinics of our health facilities
Sub TA pitala said Maimwana is one of the established projects in the district that has helped change the story of Pitala village and Mchinji district through its interventions, that encourage early health care seeking behaviour to mothers once they are pregnant. She noted that since the project started there has been reduction in maternal deaths and decreased teenage pregnancies in her village. Many mothers are able attend Antenatal clinics, deliver at a health facility and to access family planning services following counselling, leading to small and manageable families. Concurring with her, the District Nursing Officer (DNO) said that it was through Community Maternal Death Reviews instituted by the project in 2010 that the district managed to have reduced maternal deaths, from 52 in 2011 to 25 in 2012 attributing this to combined efforts of district hospital and the project.
In his speech professor Costello commended Maimwana project for the effort made in improving mothers and children in Mchinji, despite having no funding for some years the interventions are sustainable this is also due to the structures formed in the community. He promised to continue looking for funding and support Maimwana where he is going (WHO).