Malawi Medical Student Addresses Reproductive Healthcare Issue
Azaria Chidzungu, a 2nd-year medical student at Malawi College of Medicine, tackles lack of reproductive healthcare in local antenatal wards, writes Hamida Assan Mwale.
Malawi - Azaria Chidzungu, a second-year medical student at Malawi College of Medicine, has taken it upon himself to address the issue of basic reproductive healthcare services for pregnant women in antenatal wards in local hospitals, writes Hamida Assan Mwale.
After discovering that most of the women being admitted to the hospital were average Malawians who earned below the minimum wage, he decided to take action.
"I was successfully able to implement this project by first doing research on the challenges that pregnant women go through in hospitals, and after getting adequate information, I knew the need to do something to address this issue. So we decided to start with Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital," said Azaria.
During his research, he found that these women don't have enough food to eat, and most of them depend on the meals that the hospital provides.
The matron for Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Felisters Kapalamula, commented on the situation, saying, "We provide porridge, but most times it doesn't have sugar since we don't have enough resources to provide for everyone admitted here."
Azaria managed to reach over 120 pregnant women and provided them with maternal healthcare materials that included sanitary pads, sanitary buckets, maternity dresses, soap, groceries, and Christian materials.
He also organized a blood donation campaign titled "Mission Save 1000 Lives" and managed to collect over 700 litres of blood so far.
"Plans to scale up this project are underway because reaching one hospital and being able to help over 120 pregnant women is not enough. You will realize that this number is less than the number of women who give birth on a daily basis, thereby the need to scale up the project to different hospitals also," explained Azaria.
The beneficiaries expressed their gratitude for receiving the items that Azaria and his team brought for them.
"I wasn't expecting to get all the items I got, I didn't have sanitary pads or soap to use during labour, and these will surely help me a lot," said one woman.
Another woman who is also admitted to the hospital said, "I couldn't afford to buy myself good food, not to mention a sachet of sugar, and sanitary pads are the uttermost important when a woman is in labour, but I got all these freely just like that. God should bless him, and he should do the same for other people."
Azaria has distinguished himself as an outstanding young leader who is a trailblazer in changing the story of his county.