Saturday, October 17, 2009

Namikango Maternity Clinic

Some of you may have already figured out that my husband and I are Christian missionaries working in Malawi, Africa. Today I have decided to share with you one of the services our mission offers to the local people.

In 1974 the previous Namikango missionaries decided to open up a maternity clinic that would serve the women in the local area. Thus came the beginning of Namikango Maternity Clinic. In Malawi 40% to 45% of women still have their babies at home or on the way to the hospital. Because of the high mortality rate the Malawi government urges women to have their babies at the hospital. And the village chiefs are chastised for not getting a woman who has gone into labor to the hospital. She is still to go there after the baby was born. To have a baby at our Maternity clinic one had to pay $2 but for some, it was still too much. For that very reason the Malawi government and Namikango Maternity Clinic went into partnership. Now we provide free service to all of the women and the government reimburses our costs.

Here are the services Namikango Maternity Clinic provides:

Antenatal care. The expectant mothers are examined and blood work is done to see if they have HIV or STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection.) If the mother is HIV positive she will receive ARV drugs to prevent the baby from getting HIV. Also she is given Bactrin to boost up the immune system and prevent any kind of infection. All of the expectant mothers are given a mosquito net to sleep under to prevent malaria. On average we have around 200 women per week come to receive the antenatal care.

In the back of the Maternity clinic we have hostels where the expectant mothers come to stay as they approach their due date and wait for the baby to arrive. The clinic is staffed with competent midwives that have had lots of experience. If a complication arises, like a C-section, we take the patient in an ambulance to the Zomba Central Hospital where they can undergo a surgery. We deliver about 80 babies a week. Mothers will come in after 6 weeks for their final check up. At this time they are offered the family planning options.

The Under Five Clinic offers vaccinations and checkups for the babies. Before the vaccinations were available lots of babies in Malawi died from polio. Now the polio vaccine is readily available along with DTP, measles, and BCG (vaccination against TB.) All of the children under 5 are given mosquito nets as well. About 100 children come for these checkups per week.

And another service we provide is the HIV testing facility. People can come to us and see whether they have HIV or not. If they are found to be positive with the virus they can receive counseling and join group therapy. If they need to get an exact CD4 count and the ARV drugs they will be referred to Zomba.

Our clinic is not big, only 20 beds, but it is one of the best clinics in the country. We strive to provide the best service we can and help as many women as possible! Namikango Maternity Clinic’s Slogan is “Promoting a Safe Motherhood!”

1 comment:

  1. Amazing! Thank God for people like you, and the services you provide. It is a wonderful thing that you do.