Malawi News Agency (Lilongwe)

1 July 2014

Malawi: New Safe Motherhood Coordinator Pledges His Commitment

Lilongwe — The newly appointed National Coordinator for Safe Motherhood Initiative, Chimwemwe Chipungu has pledged total commitment to the cause as the initiative continues working towards the realization of improved maternal and neonatal health services in the country.

Chipungu was speaking in Lilongwe on Friday during an interface with members of the media to appraise them on the state of operations of the initiative.

The appointment of Chipungu has coincided with the relocation of the operations of the Safe Motherhood initiative from the Office of the President (OPC) to the Ministry of Health after the recent restructuring in the OPC.

And the coordinator said the relocation to the health ministry will act in favour of his office since what they deal with are health issues and it is only imperative that they are placed under a relevant ministry as well.

"We want to put people where they can perform to their maximum potential, so after reviewing it was thought that safe motherhood is a health entity and why should it be in the OPC. We can work better under the health reproductive unit in the ministry of health," said the National Coordinator. Chipungu who is also the Organising Secretary for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has since said he will not let his political involvement get in his way as he carries out his duties in the safe motherhood initiative.

"I actually intend to work with all stakeholders regardless of the social or political backgrounds because this is a national responsibility whereby I being a professional I want to take safe motherhood to another level," he said.

Asked on whether he will continue to be active in his party position while at the same time serving in the public office, Chipungu said a decision will soon be made according to the working policies of the two institutions and will be communicated to the general public.

"Each organisation has its work place policy and procedure when it comes to carrying out certain issues and decision making, yes I am currently the national organizing secretary for DPP, we in the DPP have got procedures that we follow when it comes to someone occupying an office (political in nature) is appointed into public office.

"And again here at safe motherhood, which is also a government office they have procedures regarding a second job so soon or later we will sit down to decide on the way forward but in this regard I have taken up the position as Coordinator of safe motherhood," said the Coordinator.

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