Improving Maternal Healthcare In Mzuzu, Malawi

Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios globally, with approximately 5.7 maternal deaths per 1,000 live births. This can be attributed to multiple factors, including lack of awareness, limited access to quality maternal care (especially in rural areas), and other barriers such as poverty.  

Lucy Msukwa, a registered nurse and midwife, channeled her passion for providing quality care and education to pregnant women into the establishment of Uchembere Wabwino Maternity Ltd, a clinic in Mzuzu offering maternal and child healthcare services. The clinic was founded in September 2019 with the aim of improving the quality of available maternal care, educating pregnant women to minimize risks, and creating a safe place for women to give birth. Lucy graduated from the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program in 2021 and was awarded a $10,000 USADF grant to expand her business’s ability to provide safe deliveries for pregnant women and reduce the rate of maternal and neonatal deaths. These funds were used for renovating the facility’s operating room, acquiring surgical gowns and supplies, installing operating theater equipment, and conducting staff orientation on proper equipment handling. By the end of this project, the clinic served 5,000 clients, marking a 163 percent increase from their baseline of 1,894 clients. This resulted in a 40 percent increase in the business’s revenues, from $13,400 to $18,789. Remarkably, the clinic recorded zero deaths from all the deliveries made during the project’s timeframe.  Furthermore, the Uchembere team leveraged their enhanced technical skills and increased capacity to apply for funding opportunities from other organizations and partners, enabling their continued growth. Uchembere Wabwino continues to work towards achieving equal access to sexual reproductive health services and improved livelihoods through community sensitization and immunization campaigns for children under the age of five. They have maintained their commitment to providing a high standard of maternal and reproductive care to communities in Mzuzu, a mission which USADF continues to support in Malawi, and across the continent.  

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