“Upon my arrival at Mzimba district hospital, doctors told me that I have carried a dead child. This disappointed me for losing my only first-born daughter and traveling for a long distance for nothing.” Jester Kanyasko said
She is one of residents of Eswazini community, Traditional Authority Kampingo Sibande in Mzimba district who lost a child because the area faces problems to access health services.
Kanyasko sad story was learnt on October 22 when students from Malawi Institute of Journalism in Mzuzu visited Eswazini, Traditional Kapingo Sibande in Mzimba district.
The trip aimed to appreciate how children live in the communities. The outreach was an aspect of Strengthening Child Right Reporting and Teaching Project that is funded by UNICEF.
Kanyasko narrated that the distance they travel and shortage of money to pay private hospitals for medication contributed to the untimely death of her child.
Eswani has no nearby public hospital to go to in times of need. The health facility close to them is private hospital run by Seventh Day mission at Lunjika in the area.
During an interaction with village head Kambaliro Manda, he said they are really struggling without affordable health services.
Spot survey in the area suggests that the fertility rate is very high in the area reflecting negative impact of rare accessibility to health services in the area. According to a woman who did not share her name said on average every family has at least four children
By Tawonga Chisale and Ellah Chirwa