Community forums in Dowa bringing out more issues

As one way of improving maternal health care in Dowa, communities surrounding Thonje Health Center have expressed their concerns to the duty bearers on issues affecting the community.

Communities face serious challenges in referring pregnant women from the facility to the district hospital. The road connecting the facility to the district is in bad shape and very impassable during rainy season from the community to the facility.

The revelations were made during the Community Bwalo forum which took place on April 7, 2017 where community leaders voiced out concerns pertaining services rendered to pregnant mothers at the health facility.

“We face a number of challenges in our area, we are prone to infections due to unavailability of clean water which also endanger lives of pregnant women in our communities” said group village headman Chilombo

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GVH Chilombo

“we struggle a lot when it comes to transportation, at times women deliver on the way before reaching the ¬†health facility. The situation is worse during rainy season with some of the bridges washed away” she added.

Communities are yet to make follow up on the issue of an ambulance which the Dowa District Health office promised. “It takes not less than 2 hours for an ambulance to reach the referral center; DOWA DHO promised us an ambulance to address the current situation at our facility, up to now nothing has been done and we are yet to make follow up on the matter” said one community member.

Addressing the Bwalo, the Area development committee chairperson Donnet Mkowo urged communities to take a lead in ensuring that developmental work be treated as priority hence contributing to the positive change.

Community Bwalo forum, an initiative by PACHI, within the RMNCAH social accountability for Every Woman Every Child project (EWEC) aims at improving maternal and child health care through Citizen Voices.