Malawi has a high newborn death rate with 23 newborns dying per 1000 live births
For many years Malawi had one of the worst maternal mortality ratios in the world with 890 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2000. However, maternal deaths in Malawi have dropped dramatically to 634 per 100,000 live births in 2015. This is a fantastic achievement but Malawi still has a long way to go to reduce that number further and reach the Sustainable Development Goal for a global Maternal Mortality rate of 70 per 100,000 live births.
Our work in Malawi is part of the Deliver Life Project, a collaboration with WaterAid funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) under the UK Aid Match scheme, where donations made by the public are matched by the government.
Soapbox will be undertaking needs assessments in sixteen rural health centres in Nkhotakota, Machinga and Kasungu districts in the coming months. The assessments will find out what the health centres are missing in the way of water, sanitation and hygiene in order to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies.
To date, Soapbox and WaterAid Malawi have held successful workshops with stakeholders from the local districts and individuals from the Ministry of Health to gain their cooperation and input for the Deliver Life Project.
Following the analysis of the needs assessments findings towards the end of 2016, Soapbox and local Malawian partners will decide on the necessary action to make improvements. This could range from helping to promote good hygiene for new mothers taking care of their babies, to training cleaners in the health centres about how their job can help reduce cross-infection.