Our Target: £500,000

Datum Foundation have made it a priority to help fund and build a Healthcare Facility in Chisala, Malawi.  The new clinic will provide essential ante-natal care for women in the surrounding rural villages.

Maternal mortality remains unacceptably high in Malawi. Many women especially those in rural areas still live too far away from health facilities to be able to receive care in time. Approximately 26% of women in rural communities give birth at home, while 31% give birth without the assistance of a skilled health worker, and 59% do not receive post-natal care within the recommended two days of giving birth.  This combined with high fertility rates of 4.8 and 3.0 on average for rural and urban women respectively and rising teenage pregnancies means a lot of women still face the risk of death or disability throughout their reproductive years.

The pace of scaling up community-based maternal and newborn care is slow and crippled with human resources shortages.  Our clinic seeks to ensure women have access to maternity services, reducing the risk of complications during birth or death of mother or baby.  The new facility includes a nurse and midwife learning centre with accommodation attached for staff and students.  It is key to ensure the quality of care remains high in and around the area and by supporting an educated, competent and motivated nursing and midwifery workforce will safeguard effective and responsive health systems.

In addition, the community clinic will provide care for babies and children, improving life chances for children under the age of 5.  Diarrhoea, malaria, and pneumonia remain the leading causes of illness and death among children. Many of these deaths can be prevented with improved prenatal care, timely identification and treatment of infections, improved mother and child nutrition, and improved immunization coverage especially among children who come from families living in poverty, rural areas or during emergencies.

To support these outcomes we have consulted widely with the Malawian Department of Health, healthcare providers, educators and consumers and are proposing to build and fit out a new rural maternity and childcare clinic with nurse and midwife training centre, which will incorporate nine elements.

  • Community clinic and support facilities
  • Maternity clinic and waiting house.
  • Child clinic
  • Ambulance and support facilities
  • Staff accommodation
  • Nurse and midwife learning centre
  • Student accommodation
  • Permaculture gardens
  • Site: Water, sanitation and electric and data services

We are delighted to have the support of DATUM’S Patron Professor Dame Elizabeth Fradd  DBE DL, RN RSCN SCM HV who following a visit to the area said…

“I know from my midwifery training and subsequent experience working in a maternity unit how important every stage of pregnancy, delivery and early years development is. When I visited Malawi last year, I saw for myself the potential for maternal and child health clinics in rural areas. Importantly the opportunity to improve not just the lives of pregnant women and their babies but also their families and communities is considerable. I am sure our integrated model of healthcare which enables women to stay in the health centre with a family member towards the end of pregnancy is sound. Key elements for a successful outcome are good nutrition and hygiene. The mothers will have the opportunity to join groups being taught about nutrition, including growing their own food, cooking and handcrafts. In addition, they will have access to mother-craft classes. Importantly pregnant women will be cared for during the critical stages of pregnancy in surroundings built and equipped specifically for this purpose. Relationships built during pregnancy will ensure the likelihood of greater understanding of the importance of regular health checks in the early years of childhood, which can be carried out in the same centre. The opportunity to improve lives is a powerful motivator for those of us involved with Datum Foundation, I know if the funding can be found Datum will deliver.”

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