Aspirants commit to retrain Traditional Birth Attendants

Written by  Emmie Banda, MEC Stringer

United Transformation Movement UTM shadow Member of Parliament for Mchinji South Constituency, Mikison Miliasi Ofatsa says once voted into power will make sure that health centres in Mchinji have enough health equipment and medicine.

NICE Trust in earlier community engagement NICE Trust in earlier community engagement

Ofatsa said this during a public debate organized by National Initiative for Civic Education-NICE with an aim of giving the contestants a chance of selling themselves to the voters.

Responding to a question on what they will do on the issue of people from neighboring Mozambique receiving health services in public hospitals of Nkhwazi and Kapanga which are in the bordering areas, Ofatsa said he will make sure that they have enough health personnel and equipment so that they cater for everyone from Malawi and Mozambique.

Concurring to what Ofatsa said, Malawi Congress Party MCP shadow MP Agnes Mkusa Nkhoma said it will not sound good to send back a patient from Mozambique rather to treat them as our own brothers.

"We are one people, it is only the borders that separate us if we can have problems they are these same people who can welcome us in their country and treating them will not do us any harm, what is needed is to make sure that our hospitals are enlarged to cater for our relatives from Mozambique,'' said Mkusa.

While DEPECO's Kapenda Solomon and United Democratic Front - UDF Aida Kachepa shared the same sentiments saying they will make sure that only those who are Malawians with national identity cards will be required to receive health treatment in these public hospitals.

On Agricultural sector MCP, DEPECO and UTM had the same views of introducing clubs where farmers will be having loans to buy fertilizer on cheaper prices and pay back after selling their produce as well as opening enough ADMARC markets in all areas as it was in Kamuzu Banda's era, while UDF said they will make sure that farmers buy fertilizer at a cheaper price and give free fertilizer and farm inputs to the poor and disabled.

Debating on maternal deaths because of lack of ambulances in most health centers, DEPECO, UTM and UDF said they will make sure that they ask government to provide an ambulance with Kapenda from DEPECO saying will also arrange free transport for women in absentia of the ambulance.

On the other hand Mkusa Nkhoma differed with the other panelists saying she will make sure that the banned traditional birth attendants should be re-trained so that they should be helping the women since the ambulances will not be enough for everyone in the area.

"i will make sure that the TBA's are trained to help pregnant women, these people are preferred in our areas as they treat our women with love and care and with shortage of ambulances I prefer to have these people at hand,'' said Mkusa Nkhoma.

Speaking in an interview one of the people who attended the debate Sauzande Njiwa Nkhoma said the debate is an eye opener to him and many others as it will help them to differentiate the manifestos of the contestants thereby giving them chance of making sound decisions on who to vote for.

''At first I didn't know who to vote for as I could not manage to attend meetings of all the contestants, but with what NICE has done I am now able to differentiate and choose who to vote for, now am just waiting to attend the debate for councilors so that I make up my choice,’’ said Nkhoma.

Among others the shadow members debated on issues of security, youth, agriculture, health, and people with disabilities.

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