Malawi News Agency (Lilongwe)

2 March 2014

Malawi: Male Involvement in Maternal and Reproductive Health Vital in Safe Motherhood Promotion

Ntcheu — Senior Chief Makwangwala of Ntcheu has described the involvement of males in maternal and reproductive health as an important intervention in the promotion of safe motherhood.

Makwangwala was speaking Friday at Msiyaludzu Health Centre in Ntcheu during a ceremony which geared at showcasing activities which are being implemented by Concern Universal in the promotion of male involvement in maternal and reproductive health.

"For a long time, issues surrounding maternal and reproductive health have been linked to women only, a development that continues to impact negatively on maternal safe motherhood interventions," he said.

He said some traditional practices, culture and briefs create a barrier for men to play active roles in the promotion of maternal and reproductive health, hence the need for men to change their mindset and start getting involved in such issues.

"Men in most cases are deemed to be wealth controllers at household level and that being the case, men should also learn to use household resources in supporting expectant women," he said.

He said men as bread winners should be in the forefront in providing good nutrition to children and expectant women in order to promote safe motherhood which he said is a step towards breaking the vicious circle of poverty.

Makwangwala said men who are knowledgeable of maternal and reproductive health issues can effective practice family planning thereby having manageable families.

Deputy District Safe motherhood Coordinator for Ntcheu, Veronica Matias, said male involvement in maternal and reproductive health is at 23 per cent in the district, a development which she said is a draw back in the promotion of safe motherhood interventions in the district.

"This is not a desirable achievement, we wished if we had achieved 50 per cent by now," she said.

She, then, commended Concern Universal for incorporating safe motherhood activities in its programmes.

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