Malawi commits to reducing preterm birth: Panel interview with Malawi’s health experts


Recently, Malawi’s Zodiak Radio hosted a special panel discussion in which leaders in Malawi discussed the new report for global action on preterm birth, Born Too Soon, which was released on 2 May, 2012. The panel discussed ways for Malawian families to combat the high incidence of pre-term birth.  Zodiak radio is Malawi’s biggest private broadcaster with nearly 90% of Malawi’s population tuning in across rural and urban areas. The panel consisted of a range of maternal and newborn health experts in Malawi: Dr. Charles Mwansambo, Principal Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Leslie Mgalula of the WHO, Mrs. Grace Mlava of UNICEF, Dr. Kondwani Kawaza from the College of Medicine and Mrs. Evelyn Zimba from Save the Children/SSDI-Services project.

The Zodiak show is a 60 minute recording, parts of which are in Chichewa, and parts in English. The panel discussed a range of questions:

  • Preterm birth – what does it mean?
  • How important is it for us to talk about pre-term births?
  • Are preterm births something new? Are we not violating traditional beliefs by talking about (saving) preterm births?
  • Unpacking the report – what are its main findings?
  • What is Malawi doing to save newborn children?
  • What opportunities does Malawi have to overcome the problem of pre-term births?
  • How best can this idea (of saving pre-term births) be taken further – to grassroots level?
  • What is the way forward?


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